I wrote the following Blog and posted it on my last webpage. I now have a new web page and so I thought that I would put this blog on this web page just to start things off. First time for writing, counselling, psychotherapy, healing, learning, etc, always starts with the first step. Here is mine.
My first Blog entry. a scary event but maybe this reflects what it is like contacting a counsellor or therapist for the first time.
My own experience of my first time seeing a therapist was in my later 20s. I knew that I needed therapy, and I definitely wanted therapy, for a long time before I even had the guts to pick up the phone. My clients tell me they feel the same that the period before you pick up the phone is the worst bit asking for help can be very frightening. Once you take the plunge and make the phone call, it feels like such a relief at last you have shared voiced problem with someone else and they have listened and taken you seriously. Its such a healing experience..
Once youve made that first phone call, you then have to set up the first meeting! Thats pretty daunting, too. But I can assure you that the first meeting is not nearly as difficult as that first phone call! In fact I usually suggest to first timers that they try a few counsellors/therapists out as you will need to find someone who you actually like afterall you will be telling them some of the most intimate things about yourself, often things that you have never told anyone else.
At the first meeting, we take the time to get to know one another. Obviously, I need to know a lot about you but you may have some questions for me, too. I want you to feel safe enough during our time together to talk about the things that really matter to you so you may want to know something about me and how I work.
How I usually start a session is by asking, what brings you here? Or, how can I help? I really want to know you and I try and stay curious about you and how you experience the world so that we can help you find some support for what you are going through. I hope that by the end of the first session, you will have some idea of how I work and how we are going to help you. We will also decide how long you want to work for whether you want to work in an open-ended way or whether you would rather have a finite period in counselling/therapy. I will also go through the terms and conditions and ask you to sign this if you are happy with it. This contract sets out the terms for confidentiality, cancellations, payment, etc.
Subsequent sessions are completely led by you you come into the sessions and just talk. I ask you to be as curious as you can about yourself, without any judgement. Easier said than done but curiousity keeps our work open and moving forwards. The more you bring to a session, the more you will get out of a session.
Im sure there is a lot more I could say about a first session but I see that I have now completed my first BLOG entry! It was daunting when I was just thinking about what to write, less daunting once I had started writing and now its done I feel that it wasnt so difficult afterall. Picking up the phone for the first time is much worse but once you do it, you open yourself up to some great healing.. So trust that it will be ok and pick up the phone.
Counselling and psychotherapy can change your life: sorting out what is troubling you can help you lead the life you wish for