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What to expect in a first session

What happens in the first counselling sessionI understand how hard it can be to pick up the phone and make an appointment. This may prevent people from seeking help that they need and avoid picking up the phone. For some people it can be an anxious moment coming to counselling for the first time. So what happens? 

In the first session I sometimes take a few notes, it is the first and only time I do this during our therapy together. 

The usual questions are:

Address.
Contact Numbers.
Next of Kin.Contact 
Numbers for them.
GPs name 
Current Medication
Any history of Counselling
Any Psychiatric history

This is a formal process but only lasts a few minutes. After that what ever comes up comes up. I do my best to put people at ease and let them take ownership of this process. I do not probe for information and you take the therapy at your own pace. 

Another frequent question is "how long does therapy take?". 
Each individual is different, some people choose to come to therapy for a brief time whereas others may wish to see a therapist for a number of years. The main answer is it is up to you. I do not  dictate how long you should spend in therapy. It is your time and your choice.  
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