Its normal to wonder what you are about to get yourself into. Making that first step to have counselling can be a very brave move to make. Nerves, anxiety, fear, excitement, hope and many other feelings might be floating around. What will my counsellor be like? Will they understand how I'm feeling?​

During the first session, I will want to know some things about you, I will be looking at what your needs might be and ensuring I have the relevant skills and experience to work alongside you, whilst making sure I can put your welfare first.

Also, do you like me? Do you feel that you can spend several sessions with me and be able to trust me with your personal problems? You may not be able to answer this straight away, but trust your instincts.

Good therapy is all about the relationship you build with your counsellor. It is not unusual for a counsellor to feel that their skills don’t match your needs, therefore I may recognise a need to refer you to another counsellor who has more experience in the field you require.

Ultimately your safety and welfare is my top priority.

During the first session, I will be interested in finding out about your story, perhaps looking at what has brought you to counselling at this specific moment in your life. I will also be interested in what you expect from coming to counselling, being realistic about any expectations. Counselling will require a commitment and strength from you. Having me accompany you at this time means that you are no longer alone in looking at what has brought you to counselling.

There will be some paperwork to fill out (by me) and I may make notes during the session. You should read the Informed Consent and Privacy pages, which lay out clearly the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship. This will include things like confidentiality and its exceptions, time boundaries, what to do if you can’t attend a session.

If you start to feel that this is the wrong time for you and counselling, or perhaps you might like to try a different counsellor, it can be really beneficial to talk to me about how you are feeling.

Ask questions. What do you want to know from me? Is it important for you to know how I work? What will I expect from you? Does your idea of counselling match up with how I work?

The more we explore together the better the chances of having a good therapeutic relationship. Feel free to ask me anything.

The therapeutic relationship is one that is very different to any other relationship.

Counselling can be a really exciting process of self discovery, it can also be hard work, emotional and challenging. Most importantly for you, life changing for the better.