What is Counselling?
Counselling is a therapeutic relationship, between a counsellor and a client. The relationship is based on trust, mutual respect for one another and a culture of non-judgement and acceptance, along with complete confidentiality. It isn't a friendship, but an agreed working relationship.
Sessions usually run for 50 mins to an hour, which is largely down to the therapists discretion and way of working and a weekly apppointment scheduled. The role of this arrangement is to help you feel at ease and familiar with your surroundings, so you have a set space and time just for you; encouraging a consistency and momentum to the work.
When you first enter into counselling it might feel a little uncomfortable - the idea of sharing intimate, personal thoughts and feelings. However, I would like to reassure you that it gets easier with time and as trust builds within the relationship and the process.
Initially first sessions are a factual discussion about what prompted you to seek counselling and what you would like help with; what you hope to gain from the experience and the history that's lead to this point. This session is really so you can get a feel for, essentially, your counsellor; are you the right fit, do you feel comfortable enough, able to warm to, your counsellor? And don't worry, counsellors won't be offended if you feel you're not a good fit and would like to keep looking for the right counsellor for you.
Counselling is so much more effective when the client and the counsellor can really trust and be at ease with one another. As a profession we would much rather you found the right counsellor for you. Likewise, this is also the opportunity for the counsellor to make decisions about fit, clinical competency and effectiveness of the service they are able to provide aligned with the issues you are presenting to them. Should they forsee valid reason(s) not to work together, a referral or signposting to other services will be suggested/offered.
Once you've agreed to work with each other it is as simple as turning up at the agreed time and day.