What to expect from counselling?
If you have never experienced counselling, it can be hard to know what to expect. Why does talking help?
Therapists are trained in how to really listen to what you bring, to pay complete attention and to give you all the space you need to explore your issues. In our day-to-day life we don’t always experience someone listening to us in this way, our history with that person and their own views and needs can get in the way.
Being in a space where we are the client, that we can use totally for ourselves can seem very odd at first, I know I found it so. Experiencing a safe space, where we can really focus on ourselves without other people’s needs getting in the way can really help us work through what is bothering us.
The Person Centred Approach
My approach is based on the theory that when a person is given a space like that, where they are valued and not judged then growth and change occurs.
When I have asked clients what they got out of counselling it’s often the same sort of answer. “I had a place to talk, to share it.” “I was listened to, not judged.”
The most beneficial element of therapy is the relationship formed between the client and counsellor. This is something that we can begin working on at the assessment stage which is a 30 minute, free session as we will discuss what has brought you to counselling and if I can help you. We will also discuss some of the practical elements of what it is like to work together, i.e. what if you can’t make a session? It’s always hard though to say how long therapy will last, some clients get a great deal of benefit from 6 sessions of 50 minutes, others find it useful to have a lot more. However, I find it helpful to have a review after six sessions to check in with where things are.
All sessions, whether face-to-face or online are 50 minutes.
Many people find online counselling a really useful alternative to face-to-face sessions. It can be a lot more practical as you don’t have to travel to your counsellor. It can also reduce the anxiety of starting counselling by being able to stay in your own home. You can read a more in-depth explanation here of the benefits.
I offer video conferencing as well as audio only and instant messaging. Like face-to-face these are also 50 minute sessions.
We can use Skype and you can pay via PayPal but I recommend using a more secure application called VSEE. Like Skype this is free to use but has greater levels of encryption.
As a counsellor I can also be a bit more flexible with the times I can offer these sessions so if this is an option you would like to explore please get in touch.
I wrote a further post here to give you some ideas if I would be a counsellor that suited you.
Find out more
I recommend that you find out more about what therapy is independently. The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has as useful guide to what to expect at http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/what-is-therapy.