I was asked recently what happens in the first sessions of therapy so when I was answering my friend I suddenly thought this could be a good idea for a blog. So here goes…..
There is a lot of nervousness on both sides meeting someone knew for the client its apprehension is this person going to be able to help me; will they understand and the most common theme I have experienced is will they think I am normal? Normal is a word I tend to despise as what is normal to you is different to anyone else. What you are experiencing at the present is your “normal” for now and you may have to come to terms with this as being that or through therapy you may be able to change/adjust this feeling.
For some clients I have found this maybe the first time they have spoken about their concerns to anyone which can make them feel more anxious. I would say don’t feel anxious speak to the counsellor/therapist about how its making you feel we can help you process the worries and concerns through therapy.
For the therapist and I can only go off how I feel meeting someone knew is again nervousness on will they speak and open up to me; what will I be presented with and more importantly can I help them? Thoughts run through my mind about will the client feel relaxed enough to talk to me. If a client comes in and states I don’t know where to start this prompts me to ask “Why do you feel you need counselling” this usually opens to door and then I see where that takes me and there as only been one person up to now that I have felt unable to help and I have referred them onto more of a specialist therapist due to the specific need of the client
What I would say to anyone that is considering speaking to a counsellor is this don’t just sit there it’s a team effort we have been trained to ask the right questions but unfortunately we can’t read minds wouldn’t it be great if we could though.
Before your sessions think about the way you want to describe (What’s Wrong) and describe how you feel about the problem.
You could write things down and take them along to the sessions I have seen this a lot over the years.
Don’t be afraid to ask the counsellor questions about the therapy your are about to receive and what you can expect from it and if necessary if you don’t understand something they have said ask them to repeat it to you.
Sometimes clients will come into the session and not say everything they feel they should or need so be open and honest in the way you feel and listen to the reactions and feelings you are experiencing and share them with the counsellor.
What I will say is therapy is not a quick fix to the problems it’s a process…