When we have a first appointment we will have a chat about what you would like to achieve through counselling or use counselling for. Some examples might be to process a distressing event, get through a stressful time, manage depression or anxiety, understand yourself better etc.
After this first session you will likely have better a sense of whether I am a useful person for you to work with. Sometimes clients have tried counselling before and have had limited benefits from it. If this is you, I know it may take courage and guts try again. Those who have used a lot of counselling may have a better grasp of how important a decent fit between counsellor and client can be in supporting acceptance and change.
Counselling can be used in lots of ways; some people are eager to have more skills, ideas and techniques with which to address situations, others are very much seeking a safe place where they can share their experiences and get some relief or support in their stress and distress. Feeling supported and heard by your counsellor is of utmost importance in all cases, and I pay close attention to whether this is your experience.
Sometimes clients bring areas to counselling where I am not the most useful person to support them – this is part of counselling ethics that I let clients know this and provide some other options.
Some clients like to have a brief phone conversation before committing to a first appointment – this is fine with me and I do not charge for this.