If you’re new to therapy, the idea of even going to counselling can be terrifying! The thought of talking to a stranger about your feelings and secrets can seem so overwhelming and scary.  As someone who’s done her own therapy I totally get why you’d be so nervous. So, here’s a step-by-step guide about what to expect from your first therapy session with me.

First of all, you can make your initial contact with me in any way you feel comfortable. If the phone isn’t your thing, you can email me at info@alisonisaacstherapy.co.uk or text me on 07805934114. Once we’ve arranged a mutually suitable day and time, I will confirm the appointment in an email with a link to click on to complete my client intake form. The more information you put on the intake questionnaire, the better idea I’ll have of what you’re struggling with and how I can help you.

The initial appointment is for you to get to know me. I’ll take time to get to know you, what your goals are, what you’re struggling with and what you need help with. This is your time and a safe space where you will not be judged, and where you can just be YOU. There will be a contract to sign, which lays out in black and white the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. This will include things like confidentiality and its exceptions, time boundaries and what to do if you can’t attend a session. Depending on your issue and therapy goals, therapy can last a few sessions or several weeks or years. While you will likely want to know how long it’s going to take to “feel better,” there’s no simple answer. It’s very individualized. The counselling contract doesn’t mean you are contracted to carry on with counselling, you are free to leave at any time.

Feel free during this initial appointment to ask me anything. What do you want to know from me? Does your idea of what counselling is, match up with how I work? The more we explore together the better our chances of having a good therapeutic relationship. The therapeutic relationship is one that is very different to any other relationship, and I will be able to explain that in more detail.

Counselling with me will require a commitment from you to delve deeper into some of the problems that have been troubling you, but having me to accompany you on that journey means that you will never be alone in looking at some of the more painful parts of your life. It can be a life changing journey of self-discovery, but it can also be hard work, emotional and challenging.