It’s understandable to be nervous before counselling but knowing what to expect in the first session can calm some of those fears. It may have taken a lot to even make contact by email or phone with a counsellor and make that first appointment. Now you’re meeting the therapist for the first time and you will be sharing things about your life which you may not have shared before. You may perceive them as a professional and an ‘expert’ and be nervous about what to say or how to behave.
A bit like stage fright, the initial jitters will usually subside once you arrive. I will invite you into the counselling space and help you settle in and explain how the first session is structured. It’s a little different to a regular session in that I will ask you for some details such as your age, whether you’re in a relationship if you are working, pursuing any studies, whether you exercise, what your eating pattern is like, any spiritual or religious beliefs etc. I will ask you about what brings you to counselling and to describe the problems you are experiencing as much as you are comfortable with. It’s not necessary to divulge every detail in the first session as this can feel overwhelming, you are free to go at your own pace.
There will also be time for you to ask any questions you may have such as about the way in which I work. We will also be able to go through the practicalities such as a suitable day and time, payment and confidentiality.
In the unlikely event that you’re not a suitable fit for each other, a good counsellor will suggest that another therapist with a specific niche may be more helpful to you. I will ask whether you have a sense of whether you would like to begin sessions with me. You may wish to take some time before making arrangements for the following sessions or we can go ahead and agree to work with each other.
I hope this has allayed some worries about seeing a counsellor. If you feel ready to take the next step and arrange a first session, you can contact me via email or phone or fill in the form on my contact page.