What to expect
The initial consultation is a meeting that can last up to 60 minutes and is designed to help me find out more about brings you to counselling, and decide with you whether the therapy I offer would be of benefit to you (and possibly make recommendations). During this first meeting, we will talk quite a lot about how your life has been up until now, but we will also discuss fees, the policy around cancellations and my commitment to providing a confidential space, and what this means in practical terms.
Sometimes clients find it useful to come to the initial consultation with some prepared questions as well as other topics they would like to talk about. While during treatment I'd invite you to come somewhat unprepared, I think having a list of things to talk about can make the process of meeting up less daunting and hopefully, you'll be able to leave feeling relieved about starting therapy.
Depending on circumstances, more than an introductory meeting might be necessary for us to assess whether I'm the right therapist, but this will be discussed with you during the consultation.
Ongoing counselling sessions last 50 minutes, and take place once a week on the same day and at the same time. However, I do offer flexible appointments to shift workers and people who travel extensively for work and for whom it'd be impossible to stick to the same time/day every week.
After the first session, I always invite my clients to give the treatment at least two months before they decide whether they are benefitting from this therapy or not. This is because it takes time to settle in and feel at ease and make good use of the therapeutic environment. Many clients might find talking freely difficult at first. This is normal and expected and it should get better with time. Usually, by the time clients have made it to the 8th session they start making sense of how therapy works, and the whole process feels less frightening. By the 8th session, you'll also have a better grasp of how you feel about me, as your therapist, which again should make the process easier for you.
After the initial trial, I will offer you open ended treatment. This means we will keep working together for as long as you feel you're gaining something out of therapy and is of benefit to you.