What to Expect in your First Counselling Session. By Danny Hickling Ad.Dip (Couns) MBACP
If you are about to see a Counsellor for the first time regardless of the reasons for for seeking help the results will be better if you know what to expect on the day.
A counsellor is likely in the first session to ask you a series of more structured questions such as what it is that brought you to see them before you talk more openly about how you feel.
A counsellor will often ask about the current situation that my be troubling you but also a bit about your personal background – this is because family backgrounds And values shape our perception of the world right now. Many of us follow these values without even thinking, others unhappy with their upbringing may or may not be aware of them but sometimes are still shaped by them in choosing the exact opposite of what our parents would have chosen.
Symptoms from which you might be suffering will often be asked about, for instance your difficulty might impact upon your sleep or eating patterns and might make It’s difficult for you to relax or the cope at work.
Much of the success of counselling has now been attributed to not only the techniques that the Counsellor uses in the session but to the trust or bond which is built between yourself and the counsellor.
For this reason I believe it is important that you pursue Counselling with someone you feel at ease with. Most counsellors will understand this, however please be patient as trust can take a little while to build.
Be prepared before you attend your first session spend a little while thinking about how best to describe what it is that is troubling you at the moment. It might help you to compose a list by writing the reasons down on paper. Use this as a reminder before you go to the session but don’t feel you have to read it as a script if needs be just use it as a prompt to talk about these things one at a time if nervous. If you feel like you might be unsure how to explain it after you have written these things briefly on paper. Try talking out aloud at home to practice how to best explain how you feel.
It could be you have come to see a counsellor because you have a dilemma or cant see a way forward. A good counsellor will rarely tell you what to do in your personal life. Much as it might seem desirable to be told how your life can get back to how you want it – its unlikely to be that simple. A counsellor will tale te to listen to you, understand you and then help YOU to come to a conclusion on those decisions.
A Counsellor will often explain in the first session how Confidentiality on their part is of at most importance. This means with very few exceptions, which the Counsellor would explain, it is safe to talk about what you think and feel within the room without having it repeated to anyone else.
If you’re not used to talking about yourself at first it may seem slightly uncomfortable but be prepared to take the risk and be open and honest about your feelings. This honesty can only help the counselling process work faster. But be sure to attend with realistic expectations. Therapy is not a quick fix but requires some effort on your part and a strong relationship with your therapist.
If all of these are present in successful progress can be made.
If you are interested in a Counselling session with Danny for a limited time I’m offering a FREE 20 Minute Introductory Counselling Session via SKYPE to users in the UK and EEC 0r via phone 07425 702267