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Starting counselling  

You may be feeling apprehensive about starting counselling, especially if you haven't had counselling before. The first step is to send me an email letting me know a bit of information about yourself,  what you are looking for and your availability. Below I take you through what happens next.

After you send your email 

You can expect to receive a reply within 24 hours.  I will let you know about my current session availability so you can decide whether starting counselling with me might be possible. I will offer you a free 15 minute Zoom conversation at this point. 

Initial Zoom/phone conversation 

This is for you to meet me, ask any questions you have and for us both to get a sense of whether I might be the right counsellor for you.

I will send you a copy of my counselling agreement before our initial conversation. My agreement contains information about the counselling I offer as well as practical details.  Please feel free to ask any questions you have about this.  I will be interested to hear what has brought to think about having counselling at this point. I will be able to let you know whether I think I will be able to work with the issues that you want to bring to counselling. 

Your first session 

You can choose to have in person, online or telephone counselling or mix and match these formats from week to week as suits you. Your first counselling session will be an opportunity for you to tell me more about yourself and what is going on for you at the moment. We will then look at how you would like to use your counselling sessions and what you hope to gain from therapy.  If you are not sure about what to focus on in counselling I can help you explore this.  You can also share any concerns you may have about counselling. 

You will choose the overall focus and aims of your counselling and what you bring to each session. We will work at your pace. We will regularly review our work together to check that you are getting what you need from your sessions. 

How long will I need to have counselling?

Evidence suggests  -and this fits with my experience of working with clients - that you will usually start to gain a greater understanding of yourself after a few sessions. You will generally notice a more significant difference in how you are feeling and how you manage the issues that brought you to counselling after a few months. The number of sessions you have is your choice. You are welcome to choose to have a fixed number of sessions or work from week to week. We will review our work together after six sessions, twenty sessions and, after that, any point you choose to. 

Ending counselling 

It might seem strange to talk about ending counselling before you have even begun, but it can be important for us to have an ending in mind as we work together, whether this is a few weeks, a few months or a few years away. Where do you want to be after counselling? This is a question I ask in our first session so we both know what you are aiming towards and, most importantly, whether counselling is helping with this. It will always be your choice how many sessions you have and when you end. 

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