What to expect during therapy

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More and more people are discovering that counselling can really help them to feel more alive and more in touch with who they are and what they want out of life. 

If you’re thinking about counselling, I’d like to emphasise the value of finding a counsellor/therapist that you can feel comfortable with.  It’s so important that you feel relaxed, at ease and able to be yourself so that you can be open and express yourself.  When you’re talking about things that can bring up strong emotions and feelings, you really need to be able to trust the space you’re in and feel like you can be vulnerable.

Therapy is all about the relationship that we build together.  I’m not the expert on you or your life, but I will try and be the mirror and will hold it up for you to help you see yourself more closely and more deeply.  Therapy also means being vulnerable, but to do that you need to feel safe and I am there to make sure that we work together to build that safety. 

I’m a person-centred counsellor which means that I’m here to listen to you as you’re the expert on yourself.  I’m non-directive and take the initiative from you as to what you need to work on and talk about.  I will help you to explore your own issues, feelings, beliefs and behaviour so you can become more self-aware, build your self-confidence and realise that you always have options.

Therapy is hard work, both inside and out of the counselling room.  We will look at patterns in your life, which may be uncomfortable, but it’s to understand and not to blame.  Sometimes people can feel worse before they feel better after starting therapy; sometimes they feel a huge sense of relief to have started unburdening themselves about something that has been sitting inside them for months or even years. 

It’s important to have realistic expectations for the therapeutic process as true change takes time.  Having insight and understanding doesn’t necessarily mean that your behaviour will change overnight.  Therapy isn’t a quick fix and you probably won’t discover solutions at your first session because mental health is complex.  Just as it takes time for problems to develop and begin taking shape in your life, it takes time to work through and unravel those challenges.  Therefore it will be unlikely that your emerge from your first session feeling transformed.  However, many of my clients tell me that they felt a sense of hope and relief after their first session.

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