When approaching counselling especially for the first time and/or meeting a new counsellor it is possible that you will feel nervous.
Talking about personal issues is challenging for most of us and people can have strong emotions and physical feelings particularly just prior to the first session.
Here is some pointers to try and help with this.
How can I prepare myself for counselling?
Give yourself some reassurance by kindly telling yourself it is normal to feel nervous about going to counselling.
What can I do to help with the nerves?
Everytime you feel the nerves rising stop and take several deep breaths. A great breathing exercise is to ground your feet on the floor and put your hands up behind your head. While in this position take about 10 deep slow breaths. Generally this is very relaxing and if panic or breathlessness becomes an issue it is much harder to panic breath from this position. Repeat as many times as necessary.
Can I bring a support person?
Take a friend the first time, at least as far as the waiting room or the car park. Counselling is generally one on one but you would be more than welcome to bring a friend to the waiting room with you. If you are extremely nervous you can bring a friend to the first session.
What if I’m nervous about going to my appointment?
Find out where the session will be held ahead of time. If you haven’t been sent a text with directions please ask for one.
What if i’m nervous about something regarding the appointment?
Let the counsellor know ahead of time things that may be difficult for you e.g particular nervous reactions, privacy issues, fear of small spaces, stairs etc.
Can I cancel my appointment?
If you do not cancel your appointment within 24 hours or do not attend your appointment the session will still be charged at the full rate (or half rate in certain circumstances).
I am passionate about my work and proud of the qualifications I have achieved. In addition to this and the annual training that is important for this role, I have seen the value of counselling first hand. This is in my own journey as a child to parents now deceased, a marriage partner, as Mum to two children (now in their twenties) and as a friend and a colleague in the workplace. This is the professional and personal base from which I offer counselling.
Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.