The assessment process, which begins during the first session, is the process through which we can begin to form a collaborative strategy for you to reach your goals in therapy – a strategy that we both agree is realistic and achievable.
Setting goals for therapy is important, and so I’m likely to ask some questions during the first session – about what you want to get out of therapy, about the particular concerns you want to deal with, about how you would like your life to be once you achieve what you set out to in therapy – along with many others. I will also want to hear about aspects of your life that are going well for you, and to identify the abilities and strengths that have given you the resilience to carry on although it may have been very hard at times.
As a consequence, we will both share a common understanding of your current difficulties, and have developed a clear idea of where therapy should be heading. That, in conjunction with a reliable appraisal of your existing strengths, qualities, skills and coping mechanisms that will help you achieve your goals in therapy, will allow you to embark on the process of therapy itself with a sense of clarity and direction.
The First Session – What Can I Expect?
The initial session is more of a consultation to help you decide if therapy could be helpful for you and, importantly, if I might be someone you can work with. This first session doesn’t commit you to continuing with therapy, or to working with me, but is more about deciding whether my experience and style is best suited to you, and if you’re going to feel comfortable, confident, and motivated working with me. As you’d also expect, this is a two way process, and its a time for me to decide whether I am a good match for you. Indeed, occasionally a therapist may recommend another therapist or an alternative source of support which they think might better suit your needs.
Should we decide to start therapy, on-going sessions last for 50 minutes, taking place regularly at a time which suits your circumstances or work patterns – I offer early morning and evening appointments, as well as day time sessions.