The first thing to acknowledge is that different counsellors and therapists work in different ways. The initial consultation session is a way of finding out a bit more about how I work, but here are some of the basics.
Although some counsellors use a couch, we would sit on armchairs facing each other. Sessions last 50 minutes and typically takes place once a week at the same time and same place each week.
My default approach is Existential-Phenomenological in nature but I will draw from other models to best suit the sort of person you are and what you want to look achieve from counselling. These other therapeutic models include: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Person-Centred Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Psychodynamic Therapy.
My aim is to help us both better understand your experiences, and to support you to come to terms with who you are and what is going on for you, or to help you make the changes you want to.
Whilst the counselling models listed above play their part, of primary importance is the nature of the relationship we develop in the counselling room. This relationship should be defined by your being comfortable in working with me, and the relationship having boundaries that may be difficult to achieve elsewhere in your life. At times, the work may feel difficult or challenging but ultimately safe and productive.
Counselling is different to what we experience in our everyday lives. For this reason it may feel strange at first. You may also feel there is a stigma attached to counselling; I will do my best to remove this stigma by acknowledging it and exploring your experiences rather than judging them.
In the initial consultation session, we will explore what you want to achieve from the counselling work. During the course of the work, we will return to these aims. Whilst these aims may evolve, it’s an important part of the process that we look at how much progress is being made, and ensure you feel something useful and productive is taking place.