I would like to acknowledge the courage it takes to make that first step towards counselling as a way to help your self. If you haven't experienced counselling before it's understandable that you may feel nervous or confused about what to expect. If you have had counselling before you may also have some anxieties depending on your previous experience.
The first appointment is an opportunity for us to get a feel for whether we could work together in a way that will benefit you.
Firstly, I would speak to you about confidentiality of the work. As with all our counselling sessions together, anything you say is confidential, and is not discussed with anyone without your informed consent (preferably in writing). However there are exceptional circumstances when it may not be possible to keep confidentiality. This is where there is serious, immediate risk of harm to your self or another person. In all cases I would attempt to discuss this with you first before breaking confidentiality.
We will then explore your personal history, such as, the issues that have brought you to counselling, previous attempts to address issues and your aims in coming to counselling.
At the end of the session you will have gained a sense of how I work that will help you to decide about starting counselling. Bear in mind that it can take time to get a 'flow' in the work, therefore to make the best use of counselling it is important to make a commitment to attend on a regular basis.
Once agreed that we will work together then I will take some information such as personal contact details, GP and contact details in the event of an emergency.
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