What to expect at the start of counselling:
Where and when to meet - venue, directions and timing. When you arrive, please take a seat in Reception and I will come to meet you there.
At our first meeting, it's quite usual to feel emotional. You may feel nervous, embarrassed, unsure, or relieved. If you've never been for counselling before it's a very natural reaction to an unknown situation.
As with any arrangement, you should be clear about the way that I, or any counsellor, will work with you. It's usual for us to talk about and agree timescales, costs, cancellation or holiday arrangements for example.
We'll meet within private secure space where you can freely explore your concerns with me - however it's only fair to tell you of the occasions when I must share my work. For instance, I must take my caseload regularly to supervision - a bit like talking to a 'grandparent' - rest assured though your identity is protected. My supervisor(s) could not identify you, or you them. Their role is to check that I am doing my best for you and that I am working ethically.
Like many other professions, I am bound to report risk, for instance where harm to yourself or others is threatened and I am governed by legislation and legal requests.
My aim here is to demystify what it's like to start counselling. Like anything new, it may feel odd or scary at first but if it helps you to feel better about your life or yourself, I'd like to think it's worth it.
Counselling doesn't have to go on for ages - sometimes just a few sessions can help.
Give it a try.