Making that initial phone call or attending the very first session can feel daunting for some people. You may never have attended therapy before and might be unsure as to what to expect. When you reach out to me initially be it by phone, email or text, we can have a conversation about what is bringing you to therapy and if you are new to this experience. This chat can be as brief or as in depth as you need it to be whilst also giving you a chance to assess for yourself if you initially feel comfortable enough to come and attend an introductory session with me.
When you attend the first session it will provide you with an opportunity to continue with that initial conversation, sharing with me what it is you feel you need help to explore and maybe resolve. We can try to identify what you are hoping to achieve from therapy and see if there are any goals you wish to work towards.
In the initial session we will go through a therapeutic contract. This document sets out the expectations and boundaries of therapy. Both the client and myself, the therapist, sign this contract giving our consent and understanding to the process. It is important to know that whilst everything that is spoken about in sessions is treated with the utmost confidentiality there are certain situations where legal and ethical obligations will have to be considered, for example, the protection of children and minors under the Child Protection Act. This all forms part of the therapeutic contract and is discussed in the first session.
This initial session is also an opportunity for you to decide if my practice and my work style is the one that will work for you. I tell all my clients that even though you have come for that initial session it does not mean you are obliged to return. Choosing a therapist is very important. You can always meet with a number of therapists before making your decision as to what space and which therapist you feel is the right one for you. When you come to the therapy session it is your space and you are free to speak and share and I will hold that space for you in non judgemental, understanding and empathic capacity. It is important to me that each client feels comfortable and safe in this therapeutic space. I won’t take it personally if you decide I am not the therapist for you because I know from personal experience the importance of feeling understood, heard and not judged. Building a relationship and sharing your inner most thoughts with a therapist and feeling safe to do so is of paramount importance and I too understand how important that is.