If you have got this far, then it is likely that we have already had a brief chat on the phone, or perhaps by email. You may have worked with me before, or this may be your first ever experience of counselling.
Either way, I imagine you will be feeling anxious. I think it is a brave step reaching out for help and support. A leap of faith really.
You may have found me through searching for me through various online counselling directories or read my website or looked at my social media postings. Or perhaps, I have been recommended by a friend or family member.
I may not have been the first counsellor you have contacted.
Somehow, you have landed on this page, and it is important that you feel I am the right counsellor for you. I think you will know after our first session together. If you feel comfortable enough to begin to talk about private or painful thoughts or feelings; or you are simply following your gut and knowing you can trust working with me, then that is all you need to know.
However, if you are not sure, then do not feel you need continue after the initial session. You will not offend me. Us counsellors know that we do not suit everyone.
During our initial chat or email I would have discussed my availability and my fee. Hopefully, I would have answered some of your initial questions.
You will be able to choose whether you would prefer to meet face-to-face or have your counselling sessions either online via Zoom or by telephone.
Should you decide to go ahead for an initial session (assessment) I will email you my address and contact details and preferred methods of payment.
If you prefer face-to-face counselling, I would like to reassure you that I have had both vaccinations and a booster vaccination and have the necessary Covid precautions in place. I adhere to all the relevant government guidance on safety and hygiene to keep us both as safe as possible. I will email you details about this beforehand.
My counselling room is in my home in Newhaven and is situated upstairs at the back of the house overlooking the garden. I appreciate that this may not be suitable if you have physical mobility problems. If that is the case, and you can manage the step at the front of the house, then I am willing to have our sessions in my front room.
There is on-street parking, which depending on the time of day, should be ok to park in my street, or in a neighbouring street. I would give yourself plenty of time to get here, whether you are driving or coming by public transport.
I have 2 cats. They will not be in the counselling room with us (although they would like to be) but they may well greet you when you come in or hang about outside the room. I hope this is ok for you. Obviously if you are allergic to cats then this will be a problem.
Online and telephone
If you choose to work online this will be via Zoom. I will send you the link for the session in advance.
You will need to make sure you have a private space (indoors) where you won’t be overheard or interrupted and where you feel comfortable.
Should anything go wrong with the Internet connection or technology, we can give it another try and communicate by text or phone. If we can’t sort it out, I would suggest we continue with the session via the telephone.
If you choose to have your sessions over the telephone, then you would need to call me either on my landline or mobile at the agreed time.
What the session might be like
Our first session will be a counselling assessment – basically me finding out a bit about you, your health, what has brought you to counselling and what you hope to get out of it. I will ask you questions and take some notes. I will talk a bit about how we work – what counselling is and what it isn’t; and of course, will answer any questions you may have.
What to do after the session
It can be a good idea to give yourself some time after the session, allowing space if you need it. This might be sitting in your car listening to music or making some notes – or perhaps a short walk before you set off home.
You may feel stirred up, tearful or just thoughtful and it can be sensible not to rush on to the next thing.
Having counselling takes courage and sometimes can be emotionally draining. So, self-care and kindness are essential. This comes in all shapes and sizes – so we can explore which things may work for you.
I hope this gives you a bit of an idea of how your first session will work and sets your mind to rest a little. It is perfectly understandable to feel a bit anxious about it all.
So, if you feel counselling is the next step for you and that you are needing support and encouragement in a non-judgemental, confidential space – then please get in touch and we will begin: