If you are facing difficulties in your relationships, you’ve probably thought about going to counselling to get positive changes. But what actually happens in a first session? Let me tell you.
Where would the session take place?
Prior to the session, we would have agreed on an appointment time, depending on your choice, the online session will be via Zoom.
I will send you a meeting link via email. At the appointment time, clicking on the link takes you to the meeting, and I will normally be waiting for you on the other end.
You can download Zoom software without charge at https://zoom.us/download.
How you may feel before the session
Meeting a stranger for the first time can be scary, nervous, or even daunting.
This is normal.
Sometimes people may feel excited and eager to start their personal growth journey. This is good too.
A few things to bear in mind before the session
• Make sure you are in a room where you feel comfortable and will not be disturbed.
• Make sure you have a glass of water.
• It may be helpful to have access to a box of tissues.
What will happen during the session
I will normally start the session by asking if you are in a private and confidential place where you feel safe to talk.
Once you confirm that you are, I would then ask if you had counselling before. If you have, I may ask you whether if it had helped you or not.
If you haven’t, I then would explain a little bit about what counselling is and how I works. I may also ask you some personal questions such as if you have any illness I need to be aware of (like diabetes or epilepsy) in case of emergency.
Once we establish the above, I would then ask you to tell me a little bit about the issues you want to work on. Remember, it’s all confidential. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.
During this stage, emotions can become highlighted when we touch on something that is affecting you, this is absolutely normal.
On the other hand, you may instead feel anxious or overwhelmed or don’t feel any emotions at all. This is normal too!
The rule is that there is no rule. Everyone is different and no one’s emotions are the same, just like we all have different finger prints.
You may feel this is just what you needed straight away or it make take a few sessions for us to get comfortable, this is ok.
How you may feel after
Again, we are all unique individuals, and we each experience things differently.
Some people feel relief or lighter after the first session, because they have finally got things off their chest and are willing to share more.
Some people may feel more hopeful, calmer and feel that someone is finally listening. Whereas others may feel worse after the first session, as they are starting to talk about issues that may have been buried for a long period of time.
It’s important for you to be kind and take some time to yourself, because after a session it may take you a while come up to speed with the world. You may want to take time out to process or do some journaling, or go for a walk and reflect on what has been said.
Whatever you do, it’s important to be kind to yourself just as you would to a friend who needs your support.
I want you to know that counselling is a safe space for you to talk, and I keep our conversation confidential. There are a few exceptions to this confidentiality, which I should talk to you in more details during our session.
Counselling is a private and personal journey, so while I can assure you I have a private and confidential space to work from, it’s equally important that you make sure you have a private space where you can feel safe to talk too.
In a nutshell, this is what a first session may look like, but do bear in mind each person is different therefore each session differs.
It’s normal to feel a little anxious going to counselling for the first time, but as you can see, I will do everything I can to make you feel comfortable.
So if you’ve been thinking about making some positive changes, take the next step and contact me now.
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Wenna is a counsellor and registered member of the BACP with over 1100hrs of practice experience. She works in a local counselling agency & also runs her own private practice.