So, you are thinking about counselling, but are unsure what to expect from that first session.
Allow me to explain a little of what would happen in my counselling room – hopefully it will help to de-mystify the process.
- Making the initial contact
This initial contact could be an email or a phone call. This part will usually consist of contact details and arranging an appointment. This is sometimes the toughest step to take, so congratulate yourself for taking the first step.
- Arriving for the first appointment
I would let you know how to get to the counselling room, where to park etc
When you arrive, I’ll welcome you into the room and offer you a hot or cold drink, while you make yourself comfortable.
- Sorting out the paperwork
In any counselling relationship, there is some paperwork to take care of at the beginning. I take a note of contact details for you and your GP. Why do I need to know the name of your GP? Well, the simple answer is safeguarding. If I feel that you need medical attention, then I would contact your GP. I would only do this with your permission and this is something that I will ask you about in the first session. I’ll outline the full details of this and check your understanding and consent. I’ll also explain my data retention and protection procedures.
- The space then belongs to you
With all the paperwork attended to, the space becomes yours to describe what you would like to get from counselling and some background information on what has brought you to counselling.
No need to worry about the time as it is my responsibility to keep an eye on that. I’ll let you know when it is time to draw the session to a close.
And there we have it, the first session done. We will decide between us if we feel comfortable working with each other – it’s important for therapy that we can be open and honest with each other.