What to Expect in Your Counselling Sessions
Making the decision to attend counselling is a positive step and can offer support beyond that available from family or friends. It offers an environment in which you can express your feelings and gain deeper insight into your difficulties. Counselling sessions are also confidential, so you can talk about things you might not feel comfortable discussing with anyone else.
The aim is to help you find better ways to understand yourself, or to bring about changes to help you manage the way you think or behave to improve your mental and emotional well-being.
We provide counselling for individuals and couples on a short or long term basis. This means you may either engage in counselling for as long as you require or choose to be allocated a set amount of solution focused sessions with specific goals in mind.
Our long term, open-ended service is BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) accredited.
When you make contact with one of our centres, you can discuss the counselling you prefer or if you are unsure you can ask when you come in for your assessment. We seek to ensure that everyone sees one of our counsellors within two weeks of enquiry.
Once you have made contact us with us, we will send you a client pack to complete and return. This is for you to provide your personal and medical details and reasons for seeking counselling. As soon as we receive this information back we will invite you for a first appointment, known as an assessment session. You can expect to wait between 1-2 weeks for this appointment.
An assessment session lasts for around an hour and a half. During this time, an assessment counsellor will ask certain questions about you and your life. This information helps to make an initial assessment of your circumstance.
Before attending your first counselling first, it may be helpful to prepare by writing down your reasons for seeking help. This will make describing your feelings to a counsellor more comfortable. Your counsellor is not there to give you advice or tell you what to do. Only you know how you feel in any given situation.
Identifying what you hope to gain from counselling helps to give your something to work towards in future sessions.
You will either both agree for counselling to continue, either on a short or longer term basis or decide that no further appointments are needed. This may be because you got what you wanted from the consultation, or because you and your counsellor decided other ways of resolving your problem would be the best option.
If you choose to continue with counselling, you will be allocated a counsellor for your on-going sessions.
Your initial assessment session will help to decide on a counsellor who is best suited to your needs. You will be offered your first appointment with a counsellor at a time to suit within 2-3 weeks. Your sessions will take place on the same day and time each week, unless agreed otherwise by your counsellor. This requires a commitment from you to attend weekly counselling sessions over a period of time. Please keep this in mind before you apply for counselling.
In the first session you will meet your counsellor for the first time. Sessions last for 50 minutes, and take place in a quiet room with just two of you present. A number of things will be covered such as confidentiality and session timings.
Your counsellor will ask you questions that will help them to understand your surface problem(s) before they can explore any deeper issues.
Some questions asked may include:
– Why you sought therapy
– Your personal history and current situation
– Your family history
You may find these weekly sessions fly past once you start to open up. The type of counselling we offer at our centres is one where the relationship between the client and counsellor is central to the counselling sessions and where a greater understanding of your concerns can be achieved.