How many appointments will I need?
That's a hard question because it really depends on what your issues and concerns are, and is also really determined on an individual by individual basis.
Some people come for a few or up to six sessions to help work through an issue, and others might come for quite awhile. After the first couple of sessions we will get a feel of what your goals are and then a possible time frame can be determined. Sometimes I support people to work through certain issues, and then later on something new might come up around a loss e.g. relationship or death of a significant person, or when they are going through a particularly rough period in their lives, and at this time clients will reconnect.
How do I know if my counsellor is the right one for me?
There are a number of people in our community who provide a wide variety of different approaches to counselling and who have an equally wide variety of qualifications. I know when I have sought support for myself or a family member, there are a number of things I consider.
- Does the counsellor have qualifications and professional memberships that guide ethical practice?
- Would I prefer to speak with a male or female about my concerns?
- Does the counsellor have experience in working in the area relating to me, and my issues?
- Are they a specialist child counsellor? (If you are wanting to refer your child or adolescent to counselling)
- Do I feel comfortable speaking with them over the phone?
- Are they prepared to articulate their particular style of counselling and frameworks, and speak about the types of interventions they might provide?
- Do I feel that I could connect with the counsellor?
What happens if I get 'cold feet' and realise it's just not the right time for me or I change my mind for whatever reason?
It's not easy going to talk with someone about your concerns or worries. Entering into counselling requires courage and a commitment. Sometimes we think we are ready and it's the right time, or we seek counselling because someone else says we should, and then you realise this is not the right time, or the right person for me.
Hey, that's perfectly ok, and your counsellor should respect your decision, but he or she might ask you some questions around this to make sure you have thought it through, and to obtain feedback on their work with you. It is my hope that having been honest and developed trust in the therapeutic relationship, you and your counsellor will both be willing to engage in conversations around not continuing.
Most counsellors, as with other professionals, would have policies about giving appropriate notice about not turning up to appointments, as there is an expectation that you let your counsellor know, this is just being respectful.
How do I know that my counsellor will keep confidential and private information I share with them?
Most counsellors keep notes or case files so that they can remember significant information that you might share, and also so they can reflect on their work with you. Limitations to confidentiality should be discussed at the commencement of work with your counsellor. I ask my clients to sign a Client Confidentiality and Appointment Contract Form, which I also sign. It clearly states my responsibilites to you as your counsellor, and also your responsiblities to me in the therapeutic relationship.
If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact me either through the enquiry form on this web site, or by phone.