Welcome to Your First Counselling Session Online – what to expect?

I'm Angela, a compassionate, qualified and experienced private counsellor that helps people to navigate grief and find life beyond loss.

Having a good mental health is really important and going to see a psychotherapist/ counsellor to explore your thoughts and feeling should be as normal as going to see your doctor when you feel unwell.

The prospect of coming for therapy especially if you never had counselling before can feel daunting and overwhelming. You might be worrying that you don't know what to say or do, you are wondering what's going to happen in a session and perhaps what's the counsellor going to think about you.

This is all normal and I'm here to answer some of these questions.

How do you find a psychotherapist/ counsellor?

You can find a psychotherapist with a simple Google search like 'psychotherapist near me' or more specific if you know what you're looking for such as 'counselling for bereavement'/ 'counselling for anxiety'/ 'loss and grief counselling'/ 'counselling for depression'/ 'online counselling' etc.

You can also use the counselling directories to find a qualified counsellor to support you depending on what your needs are. BACP Directory, Psychology Today or Counselling Directory are the largest and most used directories that are listing verified qualified psychotherapists/ counsellors/ psychologists. Therapists have a profile where you can see their speciality, so you can choose a therapist that can help you with what you’re struggling with.

If you are a regular user of social media you could find a counsellor on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn  and other platforms as most mental health professionals are having a professional page/profile you can follow.

You can email me or  call me or book a session directly from my website.

I will invite you for a free 20-minute  Introductory call where you get the chance to know a bit about how I work and what I offer, you’ll have time to ask questions, get a feel of who I am and see if we can work together.

How do you prepare for your first counselling session?

The most important is that you come for your counselling session even if you feel you may want to hide under the blanket. Just bring yourself- that’s more than enough.

You don't have to prepare anything; the first session is generally gathering information so I'll ask some questions to know a bit more about what's troubling you and see if I can help, you get a feel of who I am and how I work so you can decide if you feel comfortable enough to open up to me in the future - it's basically building the relationship. 

What happens in your first therapy session? What if you don’t know what to say?

The first session will include an assessment which means I will ask some questions that are meant to help me decide on a treatment plan for you. I may ask about your family situation, childhood, social life, work and I can also ask how you've been lately and how I can help within the sessions.

If you don't know what to say or don't feel like talking, it's okay. Therapy is not always all about taking, it’s also about letting go of certain emotions that you may have suppressed so if you feel like crying or sitting in silence, we can absolutely do just that.

If you find it difficult to express your emotions through words, I can offer creative ways of working such as stones, soft toys, emotion cards, buttons or nesting dolls, just to name a few.

Working creatively in counselling

Who should be talking more? You or the counsellor?

You will be doing most of the talking and I will listen carefully to your story, trying to learn more about you and your difficulties, acknowledge your feelings and offer a safe space to explore them.

My way of working is mostly person centred which means you lead the sessions, and I will follow encouraging and empowering you to speak about what's going on for you. 

Would you be given advice by your counsellor?

As a counsellor I can’t give advice about the changes you could make because you know yourself better, your life experience and your circumstances are different than mine or my other clients' so what worked for others might not be working for you. I will encourage you to come up with your own changes that you feel you can make in order to live a better, happier life.

How long is a session for and how often should you go to counselling?

Each individual session lasts 50 minutes or 90 minutes for a single session therapy. You will meet me regularly, usually once a week or fortnightly, for as long as you need support. 

I offer long term and short-term online counselling as well as telephone counselling depending on client's needs and what they are struggling with.

I suggest starting with 6 sessions and see how it goes.

No problem is too 'small' or too 'big' for therapy.

Everyone's life experience, challenges and journey are different so you may think that your problems are not big enough for counselling or there are other people who need support more than you.

You are as important as anyone else so If you’ve noticed that there are things in your life that is affecting your daily functioning such as struggling to come to term with the death of someone you loved or the fact you've lost your job and feel unmotivated or depressed, I can help you find better ways to cope with your emotions. 

I hope you did enjoy watching this video as much as I enjoyed recording it and I hope I have answered some of the questions you may have.

If you're interested to meet me why don't you get in touch today to see how I can help?

Love,

Angela

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