After you get in touch, we’ll usually arrange a 15-20 minute phone call so I can find out what brings you to counselling and let you know how I work. This can help us both decide if we’d be a good match to work together. It’s ok if you feel nervous or awkward: remember the call if your chance to ask me questions as well as mine to ask about you.
If you decide to proceed, we’ll arrange an initial session.
It’s really normal to be nervous before a first meeting. I will do my best to put you at ease and make you feel comfortable. We’ll go at your pace and you’re welcome to share as much or as little as feels right. I don’t expect to hear your whole life story the first time we meet – I’ll want to get a general idea of why you’re looking for counselling and answer your questions. You can ask me about how I work, or about counselling in general – there’s no question too big, too small or too obvious.
After the first session, you can either book in regular sessions straightaway or go away and have a think about your next steps. It’s fine to take time to reflect. You may want to meet several counsellors before deciding who to work with. It’s important to find someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.
If you decide you’d like to work with me, we’ll find a regular time to meet each week and I’ll send you a copy of my working agreement to sign. This covers issues such as confidentiality, cancellations, and therapeutic boundaries.
I offer open-ended counselling, meaning we can work together for as long as is helpful for you. I have regular reviews so we can discuss how the sessions are going and what you want to get from them.
My approach is always warm, compassionate and empathetic. We will always go at your pace in our sessions, so you won’t feel rushed or held back by me. I see counselling as a collaborative process: something we do together, rather than something that is done to you. There may be times when I gently challenge you if I think it’s beneficial – perhaps when there’s a mismatch between your words and body language, or your thoughts and feelings. But above all I want you to feel that I’m on your side and open, curious and non-judgemental.