What happens in the first session?
Thinking about starting therapy might be daunting and you might wonder what to expect from the first session. Essentially it gives you the chance to see whether we would work well together. You may choose to say what brings you to therapy. I usually explain my approach to therapy and do my best to answer any questions you may have. I will also ask some questions about you, what brings you to therapy and what your initial worries are. At the end of the first session, we can agree to work together, or you may choose to think things over in your own time.
Are sessions confidential?
As a member of the BACP, I offer a high standard of confidentiality. Confidentiality is a fundamental element within therapy in order to provide you with a private space to talk. I will not give information to your doctor or anyone else without your permission. The only time I might break confidentiality is if there is a serious risk of harm to you or others, and in very rare cases where required by law.
How many sessions will I need?
It depends on what you want to work on and your personal preference. Therapy does not always offer an immediate solution to long-standing and often, painful problems. There is no upper limit to the number of sessions, you may continue for as long as you feel the sessions are of use to you.
Will I need to agree to a contract?
In our initial session, we will discuss your expectations of counselling and I will also discuss my confidentiality, ethics, payment, holidays and cancellation policies with you. If we then decide to work together, we agree to a contract, this will ensure we work within safe and clear boundaries. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions if you are unsure of anything.
What if I don’t like it?
Sometimes counselling can be uncomfortable to start with, as there is no magic cure. Sometimes things can feel worse before they feel better but if you are prepared to examine your feelings, it may enable you to make more sense of the world around you. If you wish to end the counselling we can discuss this and agree on an ‘ending’ session.
Will you tell me how to solve my problems?
I will not provide you with solutions, however, I will help you explore different ways of dealing with a situation, but the choice of whether or not you do anything about it is yours.
Will I have to talk about things I would prefer not to discuss?
I will encourage you to talk about many aspects of your life and to express your feelings. Your wish not to discuss a particular matter will always be respected.
What should I do if I feel better and don’t want to see you again?
Discuss this with me and we will arrange an ‘ending’ session. You can choose to stop at any time you like. However for the therapeutic process to be most effective, it is best to give notice and to work towards an ending.
Who are the BACP?
The BACP stands for British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. They are a professional body that has been set up to ensure that its members adhere to Ethical Codes of Practice, keep up-to-date in the world of counselling and psychotherapy, brings together many counsellors and psychotherapists of different disciplines and is also there to protect you as a client.