Starting counselling can be a very daunting experience for most people.
Making that first appointment to arrange to come for a counselling session can be nerve wracking in itself.
All clients come for therapy when they have been feeling emotionally stressed for some time- nobody comes to my door feeling very well! We usually will have tried to feel better ourselves for some time before we ever reach out to make an appointment.
I remember the first counselling session I attended when I was in University in 1998 and how nervous I felt. I didn't know what was expected of me during that first session and it was a relief to learn that all I needed to do was be myself and talk about whatever was on my mind.
There is no wrong way to do therapy!
After the loss of my sister, Madeleine, in a motorbike accident in 1997, counselling played a pivotal role in my life in helping me cope with her loss and the family changes that played out over the following years.
I was intrigued by how therapy helped me and the reason I got into working as a psychotherapist became to help other people feel well again.
At an initial counselling session, over the course of our conversation, I will ask you some questions to generate a bigger picture of your story in order to create a complete history. This will include questions regarding how long you have been feeling the way you currently do and to give you the space to talk about what is going on in your life recently. The first session is to help put you at ease and is very informal.
Counsellors/Psychotherapists do not diagnose any psychiatric issues like a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist does. My role as a psychotherapist is not to give advice and be prescriptive- it is more of an equal relationship and it provides you with a non-judgmental space to explore your feelings.
Meeting someone outside of your family and circle of friends who you can open to without fear of judgement can provide you with a sense of relief regarding how you have been feeling.
Psychotherapists prefer to help you find the solutions that suit your life regarding how you are feeling.
Remember that your first session is equally for you to decide if this particular type of therapy is the right match for you.
Trust your instincts as every person is different and needs a unique approach. It can take a little time to settle into counselling and it is important to give yourself the opportunity to do this.
To book an initial session visit https://www.nicolahogg.ie/book-online