So what happens after you make that first contact? It's scary enough picking up the phone, or typing that first text or email. Then you've done it, you have a session slot. You're scared, you don't know what's going to happen. Will I look stupid? Will I cry? What will I say?
Let's stop that now.
Step 1 - The contract.
I ask for your email so I can send you my contract.
Why is this important?
Basically, it's there to keep us both safe. It sets out boundaries, payment, data protection and is upfront about rules of confidentiality and reasons why this would break, which isn't that often.
Why do I email the contract?
It saves session time and gives you time to read and digest properly.
I then have you sign 2 copies at the start of the session; you keep one and I keep one.
Step 2 - Client information
After signing the contract I then ask for basic information - DOB, address, doctors name and number, emergency contact, if you take any medication and if you've ever seen a therapist before.
Step 3 - And it begins!
I ask: "What brought you to therapy?"
And, now you talk. It's probably the bit you've been dreading. The bit where you put yourself out there. The feeling vulnerable bit. The panicky bit? "What do I say?" "Can I trust her?" "What must she think of me?" These are normal thoughts client have, and I had when I was a client having counselling.
Then you start talking and maybe you're the client that can't stop talking. You talk about everything, you go everywhere with your story. And that's ok. Or maybe you're the client that just doesn't know where to start, so need a little help. And that's ok.
Before you know it, 50 minutes is up and you've just had your first counselling session.
How does it help?
I say to clients, imagine your mind like a junk room, full of empty boxes and stuff everywhere. What counselling does, it helps you to sort that stuff in your mind into neat little boxes, so you don't trip over it everyday.
It works, it's hard work. Without realising, you will change from the inside out. I say the work goes on outside the room, and it does. I know that through my own experience. It's scary and some clients do one session and then can't manage anymore. Maybe they're not ready, that's ok because some clients return a while later when they are ready. Counselling is amazing. It provides a safe, non-judgemental place for you to talk, show emotions, be vulnerable, find yourself!
If you need help and want to try counselling, phone me, message me or email me.