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  • annachannoncounsel

What will the first counselling session be like?

So you've taken the plunge and decided to book that first session with me. Great news - this is a big first step. So what happens next? Read on to find out...


The first session is called an assessment session. The idea is to allow both you and I time to get to know each other and to decide if we can work together. Counselling is very much a collaboration so it's important we both feel comfortable.

Let's start with the basics, you'll be coming to my therapy room which is in my home in Marholm, near Peterborough. There is parking on the drive or you may prefer to park on the road.

Please don't arrive early. It may sound odd, but coming early means you may bump into another client and it means I don't get my full break to get ready for you.

It'll be warm and comfortable with a toilet if you need it as well as a drink of water. I ask that you take your shoes off as the carpet is beige. Feel free to bring slippers!

Once you arrive, I'll show you to the room. I'll have my laptop out (which I won't in most other sessions) and I'll explain how I work and we'll look at the contract. This is a document that covers what you and I can expect from our time working together. Things like confidentiality, holidays, cancellation, payment etc.

Then we'll talk about what's going on for you. I'll ask about your history, lifestyle, support system and health. You can tell me what has brought you to counselling and what you'd like to achieve.

For some people telling me all of the details of a traumatic event can be detrimental. Or you just might not yet feel comfortable telling me everything - that's totally fine. I mention this just so you don't feel like there will be a pressure to reveal all straight away. As long as I have the basics that is enough for an assessment session.

At the end of the session, if you don't feel like I'm the right counsellor then you are very welcome to tell me. I don't take this personally! I will also tell you if I feel I'm not the right counsellor for you.

If this happens (which is rare so please don't panic!), we can look at other options for you together. There are lots of counsellors, agencies, charities and support groups in Peterborough that might work for you, so I'll give you information about these if needed.

Most of the time though there aren't any issues and we can usually go ahead and book the next session. We can then begin our work together, which is the best bit really!

How does this sound? If you still have questions please let me know. If you'd like to book in for an assessment, I'd love to hear from you.

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