Individual Counselling preparation

Individual Counselling


It’s common if you’ve not had therapy before, to be unsure of what to expect. You may not be aware of what the therapist does or what to expect from the therapy. Usually, people are nervous when they first attend, this is very normal and is expected because you have not had this experience. Usually after the first session you will feel more comfortable. 

We will run through some guidelines below to help you to understand the process.


Your job in therapy is to establish clear set goals, if you’re unsure about the goals, you can ask your therapist to help you to establish these. 

A therapists job is to help you reach your goal (as long as it’s realistic), they may ask a lot of questions to understand you, your thought patterns and what you’re experiencing. Once the therapist understands these things they can help you to understand yourself better. Leaving you in a better position to deal with the issue. 

Therapists do not offer advice, they may make suggestions that could be helpful but overall they do not offer advice .A therapist will help you to understand your issues, how they may be connected to certain situations and help you understand yourself better. This allows you to decide whether you want to continue with narratives you may have once thought were accurate or to consider a different perspective. It is your decision to make, based on what you feel is best for you. No-one will know your life, your experiences of you, better than you. Therefore the decisions you make are going to be based on all of the information you have, as opposed to the small amount of information the therapist knows about you.

All therapy has similar aims, one is to help you raise your awareness, knowledge, and understanding about yourself, your relationships, your history and what may be going on for your unconsciously. Having the answers to why you think, feel, and behave in the way you do,  gives you a sense of control over the issues, rather than the issue controlling you.

Therapy is effective if you implement newly gained knowledge and if you decide to stop with old patterns of behaviours.

Mindset changes everything 

If you view accessing therapy to mean there is something wrong with you, you will have a resistance to the insight provided, this is expected with this mindset because it means the insight may be viewed as criticism rather than helpful.

There is nothing wrong with you. You have a few issues which you need some support to resolve, that’s it. 

There are a few reasons people access to therapy, one is that there is someone in your life that won’t go to therapy, therefore, you have to. 

The other is there have been some unfortunate situations that have resulted in a few issues which now need to be healed. Please be aware you may not be aware of what situations have impacted you, however, your therapist through exploration can help put the pieces together. 

Therapy viewed as self-development changes the dynamics, where insight can be viewed as supportive to help you grow as an individual and you may find there is less resistance. 

We’re here to help, not to judge or criticise you.

Be open-minded and honest. 
The more the therapist knows about you and understands you, the better position they’re in to help you understand yourself. Talk to the therapists about any concerns so they can help and support you. 
Working on understanding the issues is a great step however it’s important to acknowledge like an onion, the issue can have many layers; you may find the issue is different from what you originally thought it would be. 

Your therapist will create a trusting, emotionally safe relationship and space for you where you’re able to feel comfortable and open up about how you feel without repercussions. It can take a few sessions for you to feel emotionally safe.

People heal from compassion, not criticism. 

Reflect on your sessions

It is always recommended that you reflect on your sessions and take time to process the discussions. Remember if there’s anything that confused you or you are unsure of, you can always ask your therapist to clarify.

It is suggested you consider everything that is said, once you’ve reflected and realized which insight is accurate you can work with that information. Consider how you feel about the information, the sessions, and the pieces the therapist is putting together for you.

It is a good idea to research the insight as well, to help you expand your knowledge about the issue. This then leads to more self-awareness outside of the session, resulting in you progressing more quickly because the next session is an enhancement of what you’ve already researched. 


Change takes time 

If it takes years to develop issues, it will take time to undo them. Consistency is always key with implementing changes.

Change take time; if it was a quick fix everyone would do it.

Bring up topics you’re ready to address.
If you’re ready to deal with an issue or situation which has happened, you’re always welcome to start the session with the topic you would like to discuss. Please be aware if you do bring up a topic you’re not ready to deal with, the therapist will not know this, as you’ve brought up the topic the assumption would be you’re ready to talk about it. 
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