When you're coming into therapy for your first session, it is completely normal to feel apprehensive (or even a little terrified). These are all normal emotions, as I am a stranger, and more often than not, if you're coming into therapy, you're going through a pretty tough time.
I know that if I'm feeling anxious, sometimes it can be helpful to know the layout and protocol in order to prepare and settle nerves.
For this months blog, I am going to briefly run through what to expect in the first session, and details of that layout of the first session.
Where are we?
We are based on the Ormeau road, I always provide clients coming in with a picture of the front door, as often we can have worries that we are in the wrong place.
You will then proceed to the first floor where I always ensure I will be there to greet you from about 5 minutes before the appointment time. We do not have a waiting room, so I ensure I am there to greet you.
About Jessica Leigh:
I wanted to use our social media platform to put a face to the name behind the logo. Here are some facts about myself and the business.
- I completed my BSc Hons degree in social psychology in 2012 👩🏼🎓
- I then proceeded to specialize in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and completed a post graduate in 2014 📚
- I had originally planned to pursue a career in public relations, however, took a gap year to work in an adolescent mental health clinic, and completely fell in love with counseling and changed degrees 🙋🏼♀️
- I obtained a graduate job following graduation and worked in a well known practice for 2 years before starting my own practice 👍🏻
- I started the practice with the view of a relaxed, living room setting, where it is okay not to be okay ❤️
- I am a book lover📚 and self proclaimed coffee snob ☕️
- I view counselling just the same as visiting the dentist or physio. We all need a little help in these areas! 🙋🏼♀️
- I sympathize with clients who feel different because I have always felt different 🌹
- I completely understand individuals going through anxiety and depression, because I have gone through them both in the past. So when we’re talking about your ‘stuff’, I get it, because we all have our own ‘stuff’ 🌸
The first session:
In the first session, I always take the time to allow you to settle in and get comfortable. I believe there is nothing worse than a practitioner beginning the session before you’ve even got comfortable in your seat. Once you are comfortable, I then proceed to run through some topics such as confidentiality and how we are going to set out each session. I believe that setting a collaborative agenda together, allows you to have your say and gives you the space to talk about what you feel is important.
We then move on to your problem list. This is something you're asked to bring into session, as sometimes when we’re nervous, our minds can go blank and it can be difficult to recall why we’re there in the first place. So a problem list comes in handy to jog your memory. Following the problem list, I will then proceed to ask questions surrounding how long this has been going on for, how you try to cope with negative feelings and discuss anything you feel makes ‘the problem’ worse.
We then proceed to have a chat about your history, which includes family history, how you found school, and what your relationships were like growing up. The purpose of this is for me to help understand where aspects of depression or anxiety came from. In session 2 I put together a formulation for you to understand your problems. I believe knowledge is power, and if you can understand the why, you can find the how.
We conclude with discussing points to carry out at home, your availability for sessions and some simple reading. I also close with your expectations of therapy and answer any questions or queries you may have.
That is a basic outline of the first session. Should you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
To our future clients, we look forward to meeting you.
Have a lovely week,