What to Expect in a First Session
Anxious before your first session of counselling? Feeling vulnerable that you will be sharing aspects of your life?
Let us explain what to expect and answer some of your questions.
We want to reassure you that our therapists are committed to listening well, in a warm and down-to-earth personal manner. We are committed to providing the best of contemporary professional practice.
Before a first session, you may be anxious. This is understandable. We find that by the end of the session, clients feel a degree of comfort and relief in that a caring professional has taken them seriously and supported them.
By the end of the first session, your therapist will have a reasonable understanding of your issues. In most cases, they will have enough background to propose and discuss a plan for future counselling that meets your personal goals. Sometimes a more complete assessment may take another session or more.
Counselling requires steps of opening up safely. Remember that your therapist, as a professional, will be working to ensure your safety and comfort within the first session, as far as that is possible. Therefore, you won’t be expected to talk about anything you don’t feel safe talking about.
How long are the sessions?
All sessions are one hour. Allow a little less to allow for payment at the end. However, if there are special circumstances, your counsellor can arrange longer sessions.
How many sessions will it take?
The most common length for individual counselling is between 4 and 10 sessions. But it really depends on the issues. The most common length for couples counselling is between 4 and 15 sessions. For chronic or serious mental or emotional struggles, or entrenched relationship issues, it is normal that much longer therapy may be required.
Do I need to bring anything?
In general, no. However, you are free to bring anything that you think is important for the counsellor to have or see.
What if I don’t feel the therapist is the right person for me?
That sometimes happens and that’s OK. We reassure callers that they have the right to change if they don’t click with their therapist. If you feel unsure after the first session, you are free to ring the Intake Counsellor you spoke to and discuss your concerns. You ar always welcome to request a new counsellor if you don’t feel the rapport you require to ensure your counselling needs can be met. Please feel free to explore our counsellor profiles for more information on your choices.