Anna Fowke Counselling
What to expect...
If you have not had counselling before or you find meeting new people and discussing your personal stuff a little daunting I thought it might be good if I was to explain what a first session with me is like.
First of all it's your time. You know how sometimes when you sit down with a friend and you have a problem you want to talk about but because you are a good friend you try not to make it all about you? Well, in thise case it IS all about you. I do not come into it, we talk about what you need to talk about and you set the agenda. I help you to focus in on the important goals you might have but you are the most important person in the room.
I always like to start by checking whether you have had counselling before and making sure we are on a similar page about what counselling is and is not. The counsellor is not the expert in your life, you are. I like to explain about confidentiality, about payments and cancellation etc...all that housekeeping gets taken care of and then we settle in for a good chat. Shoes off if you feel like it, a glass of water or some tea and a comfy cushion or two next to you. You might even like a piece of soft modelling clay or a stone to hold as you talk, whatever makes you feel calm and comfortable. When I work with people who feel uncomfortable with eye contact we might do something whilst we talk, like drawing or other tactile activities. The main thing is I want you to relax and feel comfortable so we can do some good work together.
So for a first session it will really just us getting to know each other and you beginning to share your story with me. That's some important stuff to achieve and without that we can't achieve your goals. At the end of the session I will let you know we are nearing the end (timekeeping is my role) and we might summarise and chat about how the session was for you. I will not pressure you to make a nother appointment unless you clearly want to and we will also finalise your fee either by eftpos or cash. After your session it can be useful to stop for a coffee or just sit in your care and think through what you have just talked about before heading back to work or home. Sometimes that's an important part, I always try to do this when I see my therapist too.
I hope that gives you a picture of what a first session might be like. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you might have. Most importantly do come and meet me and see if we can work well together towards the change you seek.