Some of my clients will have never been to therapy before and, for some, it can be scary stuff: the first time they intend to share the feelings that troubles them. Relieving for others because they’ve decided, right now, they need some support and having made the decision and they’ve taken the first step.
For each of my clients there’ll be a whole host of feelings about meeting me for the first time, and I am aware of this and what a big step it can be. I feel a little nervous too because I want to make the first session a welcoming space where clients feel comfortable and are safe enough to talk, at their pace and be upfront about what therapy with me might be like.
So I want to share a little of what might happen during an initial session. I’ll meet you downstairs and we’ll walk up quite a few stairs to my office. We might talk a little about how it feels to come to therapy and hopefully you’ll begin to get a sense for me. I will let you know about my contract, confidentiality and then probably ask you about what has brought you here.
This is where I invite you to talk about whatever you’d like to, and how much you share is in your hands, just what you feel comfortable sharing with me. I will try to understand what it may have been like to be you, perhaps offering my feelings in relation to your situation.
I’ll be trying my best to understand what life is like for you now, and I do this by being genuine and immediate with my feelings. I will not be analysing what you say to me, but will hope to understand, and as we both develop understanding you will begin to offer yourself more understanding. I believe that given the right environment, one of empathy, warmth and a person being genuinely and wholly with you; you will begin to find any answers, if there are any, yourself.
Whilst I am an expert in the process of counselling, I do not believe I am the expert of you, you are. I believe in equality and I feel this is present in the sort of counselling I offer. During the session, we might talk about other types of therapy and think if therapy with me feels ok for both of us. You can go away and think about that too. Working with someone you feel comfortable with is really important, and I genuinely want you to find the right counsellor for you.
So if you’d like to try a session with me please get in touch and if you have any concerns please do ask any questions.
There’s a bit of a guide here if you want to find out more about first sessions…