Your First Counselling Session – what happens?

What happens in a first counselling session


You might have thought about Counselling to help when things are getting on

top of you or for some self-care just for you

But what actually happens in a first session…… Read on and I’ll tell you


Before the session


You and I will have had either a phone call or email to confirm the session.  Then we will have arranged a time that’s good for you.  Due to the current Covid situation I am working online or on the telephone.  I hope to return to in person sessions later in the year when the current restrictions have eased.

I have found that working online does have advantages:


You don’t need to travel to and from the session

You can be in your home, wear comfortable clothes and have a cup of tea.

I can be more flexible with the time of sessions

Research shows that online/telephone therapy is as effective as in person sessions


I use Zoom which can be easily installed on your laptop, phone or IPad.  I suggest you find somewhere that you won’t be disturbed and you can make yourself comfortable. I like to have some water with me in case I get a dry throat, you might talk a lot during the session. It’s fine if you  decide you might be more comfortable going out for a walk or in your car as long as you have a signal and you won’t be overheard.


What you might be feeling


You might be feeling anxious, I remember the first time I went to counselling I felt anxious, what was the counsellor going to think about me? Would they think my problems were silly? Would they be able to read my mind? Relax although I’m trained as a Counsellor I can’t read your mind! I’m also a person too who deals with problems just like you.

You might be feeling overwhelmed – the session is a place where you can unload what’s going on for you – unlike friends or family you don’t have to worry about burdening me, telling me something that’s difficult or worry about upsetting me.

You might be feeling excited and raring to go and that’s great

You might feel none of these and that’s totally fine too – there’s no right or wrong


The Session Itself


In the first session I will take some basic information from you, I will also talk briefly about confidentiality which means you can talk freely in the session.  I will ask you about what’s bringing you into counselling, whether you’ve had counselling before and what you may be hoping to achieve from it.  You may have something which is a burning issue for you or it may be something that gradually becomes clearer if we work together for a while.

I will ask you about your life in general, I see this as filling in a blank canvas, if you have more sessions we are able to add more details and the canvas becomes more filled in.

You might want to ask me how many sessions you might need and that’s a difficult one to answer – I usually suggest working together for at least 6 sessions and then taking stock and reviewing where we are.  I see this as a partnership where we are both working towards you being where you want to be during out time together.

I will let you know when the session is drawing towards a close so this does comes as a  surprise seem abrupt.  When we are at the end  of our time I will ask you if you want to go ahead and book another session – it’s great if you want to go ahead or you may want time to think about it.


If there are any technical glitches


Technology as we all know can be a wonderful thing but it can also be a pain if it goes wrong.  If for any reason there are issues with our connection I will try to reconnect twice then I will message/email you to work out whether it’s best to reschedule or finish the session on the phone. Knowing this should help to put your mind at rest- it’s one less thing to worry about.


How you might feel after the session


Sometimes a first session can feel a bit like putting down a very heavy shopping bag, you might feel a huge relief and not realise what you’ve been carrying around with you.  You might feel exhausted, tired, tearful or angry from what we’ve talked about.  If you possibly can I suggest you give yourself some time to yourself.  You might want to be on your own, make yourself a cup of tea, go for a walk or have a nap.  You might want to have a chat with someone, have a hug or to sit with your pet.  All of these reactions are totally normal just do whatever feels right for you- equally if you just want to get on with your day do that too.


I hope that this blog has told you what to expect from a first counselling session if you are ready to take the next step contact me now.



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