I’m nervous about starting counselling. Is that normal?
When starting counselling, it’s very common to feel nervous. It can be difficult to open up and talk about feelings out loud, and at times even to imagine words around what you are feeling. The fear around that can feel overwhelming. It takes courage to start going to counselling. The fact that you are here, exploring options for getting help, and reading this right now shows you are already being brave to take steps towards getting the help you need.
Counselling is a space where you can be yourself, come just as you are and feel safe from judgement, including feeling nervous. I’m committed to making your sessions comfortable and safe space to be.
How do I know if you are the right therapist for me?
Take your time to read through my website. If you sense that I may be a good fit based on what you are reading, contact me to arrange your free 30 minutes video/phone consultation. During this consultation, you can ask me how I work as a therapist, or any other questions you may have that are specific-to-you. You’ll also be able to share what’s going on for you and we can decide together how I can help.
It may be helpful to think of the first few sessions as trying out the waters together and see if we are the right fit for each other. During the sessions, you’ll be able to understand how comfortable you feel and start seeing what it’s like to be in counselling.
My approach is not going to work for everyone. What’s most important to me is that you find someone who you feel is the right fit for you.
What if I don’t want to talk about something?
It’s natural to not want to share some of the painful or difficult things you’ve been through. During our sessions, it will always be up to you if you feel ready to talk about something or not. It is my job to hold a safe and non-judgemental space for you to explore and work through the tough stuff. We will only work at the pace that feels right for you.
You can also share with me that you are nervous to open up about something and we can talk about that too. Whatever is present for you. Whatever you are going through. Bring that to the session and we can explore that together.
I’m scared that if I open up, you will think I’m too sensitive or wrong.
If you open up to me, I will not think you are too sensitive or wrong, I will think you are very courageous, unique and human. I see you just the way you are. There is nothing “too much” or “wrong” about you.
Whatever it is you’re going through, I provide a safe space where you can feel heard and supported without judgement.
Does what we talk about in counselling remain confidential?
It can be concerning feeling like things you say or do in therapy could “get out.” I want you to know that unless there is an imminent danger to yourself or someone else, everything you share with me is completely confidential.
Your privacy and trust are of utmost importance. You can rest assured that you can talk about anything without fear of that information getting out.
If you have specific questions about how confidentiality works, you can ask during your during a free phone consultation or anytime during our work together.
How long will counselling take?
You might be asking about how long therapy will take because you are currently struggling and want relief fast.
I offer counselling on a short-term (6-12 weeks) and open-ended basis. The number of sessions will you need will depend on such factors as the issue you’re bringing to work on in counselling, how severe that issue is, and how deeply you want to go into yourself and your inner processes.
We will work together to find the length of time that works for you. We may start with the initial 6 sessions and review by session five and see if you achieved your desired outcome or feel there’s more to be explored. Or you may opt for an open-ended basis straight away with regular reviews of your progress.
What can I expect during the first session?
Overall, you can think of the first session as a free-flowing conversation where we can ask each other questions so we can start to get to know each other. It has an element of structured assessment to help me to learn better about challenges that brought you into counselling. I’ll invite you to share more about yourself and we can also talk about what’s worked or not worked for your mental health in the past.
Some questions that I like to ask during a first session include:
What brought you to therapy?
What goals would you like to reach by going to therapy?
What do I need to know about you to understand your current challenges?
You can ask me questions as well. I encourage you to be curious about how I work or what future sessions will be like.
The most important part of a first session is that you see if I’m a good fit for you. If you feel safe, accepted, and comfortable with me, we can discuss if you’d like to meet again.
What is your cancellation policy?
I operate a 48-hour cancellation policy.
If you cancel your session over 48-hours in advance, you will not be charged for the missed session.
It is understood that sometimes sudden events, such as emergencies, happen, that may make it necessary for clients to cancel their appointment last minute or fail to attend. On these occasions, the counsellor will do their best to accommodate this and offer you an alternative time or date. However, if this is not possible, the full fee will be charged for the missed session.
What if I have an emergency?
In the event of a major crisis, severe distress, and other urgent mental health difficulties it is vital to get immediate help. This could include contacting your GP or your nearest accident and emergency service (A & E). You could also call the Samaritans on 116 123.
How can I get started?
I’m here to talk during a free 30-minutes online/phone consultation where you can share what’s going on for you and we can decide together how I can help.