What to expect from counselling
Life-changing events and transitions can affect human growth and development. They can prove overwhelming and difficult to manage at any stage in our lives. Talking to someone who is trained to listen can help us to explore and heal old wounds.
Most people who seek out counselling come with their story and every story contains a beginning, middle and an end. I know that seeking counselling can feel daunting in the first instance, but beginning to talk to someone about your story, and the impact it may be having now, can help to bring relief and non-judgemental understanding.
After an initial appointment has been agreed we will meet face to face or, if you have chosen to seek out online counselling, arrange a time to talk via Skype. We will meet for 50 minutes on the same day each week.
The first two sessions will be in the form of an assessment, which will give you the opportunity to start the process of talking in confidence about what brings you to seek out counselling at this time and to begin to determine whether long- or short-term therapy feels right for you. More importantly, it's for you to decide if I am the right therapist for you and to get a sense of how we can work together. If you decide that you would like to continue, we can then discuss whether long- or short-term counselling feels more appropriate. Both require a commitment to the process and the relationship.
Counselling is not a miracle cure, but it can provide a place to turn to for help when things feel too difficult to manage on your own. And with the right kind of help and support, it is possible to overcome difficult events or issues that are troubling you, and to move on.
As the sessions progress, therapy provides uninterrupted time and quiet space to talk and to express feelings you may not have felt able to share with others before. As the trust between the counsellor and the client builds, problem areas and patterns can begin to reveal themselves and together we can explore how best to manage them. The aim with my approach is for you to feel comfortable and able to express your feelings within a safe and non-judgemental environment. And when trust begins to flow, change begins to happen.
Like any partnership, ending therapy is an important part of the process too, and my approach is to explore what endings mean to you in relation to your story and also to prepare and plan for any ending, even setting a date and working towards it. Feeling able to talk about how to end the therapy in a safe way allows both client and counsellor to share an overview of the work undertaken.
The BACP’s website provides some great resources for people thinking about seeing a therapist. Their fact sheets cover questions such as:
What do counsellors and psychotherapists do?
How do I choose a therapist?
What happens in your first session with your therapist?
How to get the best out of your therapist?
“I think one thing I realised quite early in the process was that it is not only about my problems but my continuing development as a person”