Tag Archives: counselling

Getting ready for a session

There are different things you might want to do before a counselling session.

During the session it’s important that you feel as comfortable as you can. I wonder what that means for you: do you need a special place, or your favourite drink? Would you like a cushion or a pet on your lap? If you have your session at the same place as you are working from, how can you make your counselling time different to your work time? Could you move your device/chair so you have a different point of view? Can you cover your work stuff so that it doesn’t distract you? If there are other people around, maybe you could put a sign on your door so that you won’t be interrupted.

If you have time, you might find that going for a quick walk before a counselling session can be a good time to set aside the rest of your day, and clear your head. Some people like to do some mindfulness before a session: you might want to set aside a short time to sit quietly, and turn your attention to each part of your body, noticing how it feels, and if there is any tension held anywhere. Feel your feet on the floor, feel any contact your body is making with anything else. How does your body feel right now? If doing this doesn’t feel right to you, don’t worry, it’s just an idea.

Something you could ask yourself is how you would like to use your counselling session. The best thing for you might be to show up, and see what comes with you. Or you might have a particular topic you’d like to explore. Maybe you are coming to counselling with a specific goal in mind, and you want to talk about something connected to that goal. Do you keep a diary or a journal? This might be a good place to look if you aren’t sure what would be helpful. Has something happened that left you with some feelings that surprised you – maybe a situation that your head tells you is simple, but your feelings and emotions don’t agree.

You might need to try different things before your sessions until you hit on the thing that’s right for you – or you might do something different every time! There’s no one ‘right’ way to prepare, but there might be a right way for you – something that supports you in getting the most from your counselling session.

Our First Session

If you haven’t had counselling before, or even if you have, you might be wondering what will happen when we meet for our first session.

Before our first session, we might have had a quick chat on the phone or over Zoom, just to check that we are a good match, or we might have exchanged emails setting up the appointment. You’ll already know something of how I work, and I might know something of what brings you to counselling.

At our first session, there is some information I need to share with you, and some information I need to get from you. I’ll go over confidentiality, some boundaries and anything else you need to know about the counselling relationship. I’ll check with you that you are set up comfortably for our sessions and the times just before and after. Then I’ll ask you about your experience and expectations of counselling, and what you are hoping for. I’ll also want to know what support you have around you, and what you typically reach for to support yourself when times are hard. I’ll also ask if there’s anything else you think I should know.

First sessions are different from other sessions, I might feel like I am interrogating you when I ask you all these questions. In a typical session, what we talk about will be led by you – it’s your time to explore whatever you want. And our first session is still your time, we can start talking about what has brought you to counselling if you would like to. Also, we don’t have to do this. It might feel better for you to wait until a future session to get into it. You’ll know best what is right for you.

It’s not unusual to find unknown situations scary – when we don’t know what’s going to happen, our bodies might worry that we are in danger, and get ready to protect us. If you are interested in starting counselling with me, I hope this information has helped you have a better understanding of what you might be getting into. Remember that you can also ask questions before we meet, and at any time during our work.

Contact me if you’d like to know more, or if you’d like to book a first session: