What can I expect in the first session?
I like to think of the first session as a get to know you session for both of us. This is where you get to meet me, ask any questions you have about counselling and my role, and access if you think we are a good fit. I will be asking general questions to get a basic outline of your history and an understanding of why you are seeking counselling, but you are allowed to go as in-depth as you would like. If you are uncomfortable or do not want to answer specific questions, you will not be pushed to do so. First sessions can often be anxiety provoking, so I like to go at your pace and make sure you’re comfortable. At times we may or may not get to talking about strategies in the first session, and this really depends on time and your goals.
Are the sessions confidential?
All sessions are confidential to a point. There are limitations to confidentiality, such as if you are threatening to harm yourself or another person, otherwise what is said in counselling stays between you and me. This is to help create a relaxing environment where you can feel open to discussing your concerns without worrying about judgement. In our first session we would discuss limits of confidentiality in more detail, and I will answer any questions or concerns you have.
What happens if I miss or cancel an appointment?
I have a 24 hour cancellation policy. You will be charged the full fee if you do not provide 24 hours notice by phone. You will be expected to pay that fee before your next session is booked.
What if I see you and I don’t like the process or feel we don’t click?
I invite you to be honest about this, even if it can be awkward to discuss it. The fit between psychologist and client is important to effective therapy. If you feel we are not a good fit, I will invite us to have a discussion about it either in session or by phone to access possible steps going forward. This might include me providing you with a referral to another psychologist I think might be a good fit, assessing if counselling is the right thing for you at this time, or seeing if we should try another session. I am always open to this feedback.
How long does counselling take?
This really depends on what the focus for counselling is. Counselling can be either short term or long term, lasting between a couple of weeks to years. This is something we would discuss and monitor throughout the process. Sometimes people will do a couple of sessions, take a break and come back for more. Others like to come every two weeks for a year, it is really variable and depends on context.
What if I have other questions not addressed here?
Please feel free to e-mail or phone me and I will answer your questions as best I can. Please note though that I do not do counselling via e-mail, it is only for answering questions related to the counselling process.