What to expect
When approaching counselling especially for the first time and/or meeting a new counsellor it is possible that you will be nervous. Talking about personal issues is challenging 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.
- Give yourself some reassurance by kindly telling yourself it is normal to feel nervous about going to counselling.
- Every time 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 concentrate on your breathing and take at least 10 deep slow breaths. Generally this is relaxing and it is helpful if breathlessness or panic becomes an issues as it is harder to panic breath from this position. Do this as many times as necessary.
- Take a friend the first time, at least as far as the waiting room or the car park. Counselling is generally one on one however you would be more than welcome to bring a friend to the waiting room with you. If it would help you, you can bring a friend to the first session.
- If you haven’t been sent a text with directions please ask for one and find out where the office is ahead of time.
- When you are booking the session let the counsellor know things that may be difficult for you e.g particular nervous reactions, privacy issues, fear of small spaces, stairs etc.
The content of the session is privileged information unless you give consent to disclose information:
You disclose information that yourself or someone you know is at risk of being harmed. Notably a child.
The session is couple counselling. In this case it will be assumed that the content of the sessions is between both parties and the counsellor.
There are other limits to confidentiality please check with your counsellor if you would like to know more.
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.