What to expect in your first session
Coming to therapy for the first time can be absolutely terrifying. To take the edge off of your concerns, here I have laid out exactly how the first session with me will look:
You can book your appointment with me by emailing, calling or texting me. If you let me know an outline of what you're looking for help with, and when you might be available for regular weekly sessions then I will let you know if I think I can help, and what available appointments I have that suit you.
Before we meet we can have a brief chat on the phone to discuss what you're looking for in a therapist, but if you prefer to sort everything out via email that's absolutely fine too.
Once we have agreed a time that suits us both I will send you over a welcome email containing a payment link. I will only take payment for the first session up front (subsequent session payments will be taken on the day at the end of the session), but getting payment out of the way before we first meet means we can really focus on your needs in the room.
My office is on the corner of Lansdowne Place and Western Road in a mixed use office building which sits above Priors letting agent on the ground floor.
My bell is labelled 'Unique Mind Counselling & Psychotherapy' and when you ring it I will answer the intercom and then buzz you in.
My office is on the second floor and I will be waiting on the landing to greet you as you arrive.
I will ask if you have ever had therapy in the past before explaining how I work, and how this might differ from what you have previously experienced. If at any point you have any questions then please do ask - this session is your chance to gauge whether you feel comfortable committing to ongoing sessions with me and so it is important that you have all of the information you require to make an informed choice.
In the session I will ask a little about your background - where you grew up, whether you have any brothers or sisters, any significant people in your life, or any events you think might be important for me to know. This helps me to build an overall image of who you might be (which will develop over the time we work together). I will also ask that you talk a little about what brings you to therapy. I understand that this is often the hardest part, but you are in complete control the whole time - I will only ask you to bring me an overview, the headlines of your issue if you like. We can go into more depth over time as you develop trust in me and in the therapeutic process, but this trust is the key to you never having to regret something you've said in session which might make you not want to come back.
If you have any questions for me I welcome you to bring them - this first session is designed not just for me to gather information to make sure that I can help you, but for you to decide whether you could feel comfortable talking to me about the things that are troubling you.
At the end of our 50 minutes I will ask you to go home and consider whether you feel happy to continue sessions with me. This is so that you don't feel any pressure whilst we're face to face to say yes, but also because sometimes feelings can take a little while to emerge and I want you to be sure you feel comfortable working with me as that's the most important part of what makes therapy work!
Once you have made your decision you can contact me via email, text or phone to confirm that you want to continue sessions. We will then continue to have regular weekly sessions for as long as you find them helpful.
I hope this article has helped you to get a sense of what the first session would be like with me. Unfortunately I can't take away all of the worry associated with doing something new for the first time, but if there's anything you're specifically worried about then please get in touch and I'd be happy to help.