Scheduled your first appointment now what? Will this work for me? What if I'm judged, shamed or he'll call me crazy?
I wonder at times what clients might think and feel before entering our counselling room? And recently I've been listening to the wonderful Audiobook by Robert de Board Counselling for Toads. Now I'm still in the process of completing the book - and my attention and aim of today's blog really focus on what the psychotherapists call "the first meeting".
Here are five things you can expect (usually in one form or another) when visiting Creative Counselling Centre.
These (five) categories include:
- 1: A hot coffee, tea or glass of water. Silly at times but for me, such a nice small way of saying, hey what does your body need at this very second, are you trusty?
- 2: Space where you can be yourself. Honestly - you can be you, and you'll learn to become more authentically you as we continue to work together. This is what is meant with a non-judgemental space. Which of course attempts as far possible to be open and receptive to your world view.
- 3: Boundaries - very few articles I've read on "what to expect" speak about this - sometimes referring to the contract signed between you and me. However, for me this is important. Here I spend time letting you know, they are as equally important to the treatment team as the psychologists, counsellors, social workers, teachers etc. Boundaries ensure that I value your views, your wish for the direction of our sessions - and ensuring that we meet your needs and not the needs of the counsellor.
- 4: Respect - funny how this is #4 for me and coffee and tea #1 (gives you a clue to how I work). However, respect does remain fundamental for both you and the counsellor. Respect for the boundaries, for your ability to express and use the session to what you need, but within the safety of the counselling relationship.
- 5: There might be a bit of art in the mix. This usually brings up some anxiety for some people (adults and kids alike). I use art with my clients as a tool to better understand our internal world, read more about What is Art Psychotherapy.
Working with my colleague @JadeFletcher - we have worked really hard to create a warm and inviting space for our clients.
We've worked hard to create a counselling room and safe space where you can
Feel heard and understood,
Process difficult emotions, by expressing them at your own pace without judgment
Developing tools, and strategies to
I'd love to hear your thoughts - share your ideas and impressions of our counselling room, your thoughts, or fears, or even excitement for what a first session might look like.