Recognising that you need help and taking that first step to look for a therapist and book the initial session is a major step, never to be underestimated.
You may have already gone through the process of choosing a therapist that you feel might be the right one for you.
(If you have not chosen a therapist or not sure how to choose a right therapist for you, here is a link to my blog The Top 3 Things To Consider When Choosing A Therapist. http://www.clearskytherapy.co.uk/blogs/the-top-3-things-to-consider-when-choosing-a-therapist)
Now, you must be wondering about what to expect from your first session.
Below I have listed 5 Things To Expect From Your First Counselling Session.
1 Expect to feel anxious:
It is very natural to feel anxious, as you may not know what will happen in your first session. You may even wonder what will be expected of you. Anxiety may arise around finding the location and getting there on time; all of this is normal and can be part of your initial anxiety. I would advise you try and relax if you can (look for some relaxation techniques or ask a trusted friend). The therapist will be there to guide you. In order to do this initially, they will ask for the information in order to assess your need and establish how they are going to help you.
2 Gauging Rapport:
This initial session is an important session to see:
3 Check out the environment:
When you meet the therapist for the first time, check out the surrounds, inside and outside the therapy room. Think about how it feels to be there. Consider how you felt on your way to your session. Check out the room and see if it feels welcoming and calming to you. Ask yourself: Do I feel comfortable being here? If you do, it will help you to talk to the therapist and get the most out of your session.
This initial session is for the therapist to assess your needs and difficulties. It may involve talking about the framework; meaning they may explain how they work and what is expected of you. Though, do not forget the sessions are your space and time for you to talk about what you want/need to. You may be asked to fill out a form and perhaps sign an agreement. You will be given an explanation about confidentiality and the cancellation policy.
This session may be used to talk about your background, your past experiences and you may be asked what it is that you wish to get out of these sessions.
You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
5 You are in charge:
From the moment you recognised that you are not able to cope and/ or manage your present situation; when you started to feel that you would benefit from seeking help, to your first initial consultation, remember YOU are in charge of this decision.
Whether you wish to express in your first or future sessions that this is not the right time for you or the right therapist for you, you will not be forced to make a decision there and then or to book further sessions. Remember you can agree to continue OR to take time to think and then get back to them.
Therapy is about exploring your thoughts and feelings around what is happening to you. It is always a two-way process. A therapist is there to guide you, empower you and support you. It is up to you as to how much you are able to be open and what you want to talk about. But what I will say is the more you do the more you will benefit from it.
Remember, therapists do not have a magic wand to take away your troubles, but they will be there to support you through your journey and see you through your difficult times.
If you feel this has helped you, please feel free to comment. Click the Contact tab on my site if you think you would like to chat to me about how I can help you.
I am also active on Social Media; you can follow my posts, get in touch and follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ClearSkyTherapy,
Sometimes life may seem overwhelming, confusing, and challenging.
It can leave you wondering: Why me? Why now?
It may feel like a lot might be going on in different areas of your life at the same time, or a tragedy may have struck, or a traumatic incident could have taken place.
These could bring up a lot of emotions like shock, anger, and sadness. You may feel that you do not know how to cope with it all, or whom you can turn to for help.
You may have supportive family, friends, and colleagues. A lot of work places even run a wellbeing scheme, which you may be able to take advantage of.
However, for some of us, it does not help to talk to friends and family because feeling embarrassed or ashamed about not being “strong” enough, or capable of handling the situation. Sometimes we may feel that no one listens to or can understand us.
Here are 7 reasons why counselling can help:
There can be a lot of stigma around counselling. Some people feel they have to be “crazy”, weak or have something wrong with them in order to seek counselling. However, talking to a counsellor does not mean you are going crazy or you lack strength.
In fact, it takes a MASSIVE courage to seek out help. If reading this has helped you to recognise that you need help, then do not wait. Here’s a link to my previous blog about The Top 3 Things to consider when choosing a therapist.
If you feel I can help you, please be in touch by sending a message via my contact page.
Valentine’s Day is almost here. Commercially it has been hyped and displayed everywhere you go. It is great for people who have a “Valentine” and looking forward to celebrating the day.
However, what about people who may be single, recently broke up from a relationship, or may have lost their valentine due to death or other circumstances?
To these ones, Valentines Day may not seem fair and could cause emotional pain. It could also bring up painful memories of loss or the reminder of a lack of a relationship.
How can we survive such an emotionally charged day if this is how we feel?
Also, it would raise the question: Why are loved ones expected to shower each other with extra efforts, gifts, time and money to acknowledge the love for each other specifically on this day?
Read my 7 tips to how to survive Valentine’s Day
1 It is ok: Tell yourself it is ok to be single, not to have a date or a relationship.
2 Be your own Valentine: It is time to show love to yourself by doing something special for yourself that would make you happy.
3. Show your strength: It is a sign of strength by not giving into the hype and by feeling sad or sorry for yourself. Having a relationship with you shows your strength.
4. Acknowledge YOU: Take a day out to pamper yourself by treating yourself to a treatment, do meditation, go shopping, arrange a get together with your friends, go to a museum and spend some quality time with yourself.
5. Remind: Remind yourself Valentine’s Day is not just on 14th Feb. Love for yourself should be celebrated everyday.
6. Loss/Grief: If you have lost your loved one due to a break up, through death, or any other circumstances and are missing them, try and think of good memories of them, and treasure those memories and try to find peace within yourself.
7. Nothing lasts forever: Remember, situations will change. Who knows, your valentine could be just round the corner and you may be celebrating the whole year with them soon rather than just on Valentine’s day
Here are my parting words on this matter:
Valentine’s day is what you make of it. Being your own valentine is important before being someone else’s. Try and make the most of each day by loving yourself and spreading love to others. Let me know which tips worked for you and get in touch if you would like some support around any of these issues.
You can get in touch by twitter @counsellorHA1 and Facebook www.facebook.com/ClearSkyTherapy
It is not always easy to seek help or to know when to get help. If you are considering getting help from a counsellor/psychotherapist, here are the 3 top factors to consider.
1) Qualifications, experience, and their membership to a professional body:
These days there is an overwhelming choice of therapists and modalities to choose from. This can make the task harder.
Check out their qualifications to assure yourself that they have done the necessary work of learning and understanding how to help their clients. See how many years of experience that they have, what areas they work with, and if they work with the specific issues that you are looking to get help with.
Each qualified therapist is expected to be a member of a professional body. They are also expected to adhere to that body’s ethical framework. Some recognized professional bodies include the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy).
What impression does a therapist’s profile have on you? It is important to connect with the right therapist.
Have a read of their profiles on a counselling directory and from their professional bodies. A lot tend to post their photographs, look at them and see if you feel that you can speak to them, talk to them, and connect with them. Go with your initial/gut instinct. If you feel positive about the therapist after reading their profile, what they offer, and if they work with your presenting issues, contact them for an initial consultation.
Of course, meeting them in person can help to make your final decision on whether to continue or not.
3) Practical and convenience:
Check out their location: is it convenient and to get to via car or public transport? Are there parking facilities? What do they offer? What is the length of their sessions? What are their fees?
It is sometime hard to recognise and accept we need help. Once you accept go and get the help. It is good to talk and get a different perspective and support. Help is at hand. Feel free to message me if you feel I may be able to help you.
I would love to hear how you get on, feel free to contact me on Twitter @counsellorHA1 and Facebook www.facebook.com/ClearSkyTherapy