What to expect in your first session
I am told I’m extremely friendly and easy to talk to, I really care about the people I see. If you come alone, I will do my best to make you feel comfortable. If its your child I am seeing, again I will ensure they feel comfortable and safe.
With couples therapy and family therapy, I will make all of you feel valued and heard.
The first session is usually where we meet face to face or over the telephone, Skype, Facetime or solely messages. This is where I want to get to know what the problem is, and how it came about, I will conduct a brief risk assessment to check that you can keep yourself safe and if i am worried I can provide you with crisis numbers and a crisis plan if need be. (This is confidential). We would also try and establish a goal for therapy. This is to install some HOPE. As this is what will keep you motivated to keep trying.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a “collaborative” therapy. This means that it consists of you and your therapist both working towards your goal, that you set at the beginning of therapy. (Don’t worry if you don’t have a goal or even know what it is, that is something that I can help you with)
I am there and totally for you, focussing exclusively on what you bring to the therapy. I am there to be a mentor, guiding you and teaching you techniques and coping strategies to give you the skills to make the changes that you want for your life.
I will not have a judgemental view on how you should change. I will work with you so that together you can think about realistic new possibilities for more helpful ways of managing whatever difficulties you bring to therapy.
Homework, (I like to call it in-between session reading tasks) is a very important part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and research has shown that the degree to which you are willing to do this, relates to the success of the therapy.
Sometimes CBT can seem like hard work, but it does get easier the more you do it and the more you put into it, its like riding a bike, learning a new skill, running, playing Xbox, cooking, in fact any skill that gets practiced a lot . Research shows that CBT is a very successful therapy for most people. If you are finding specific things difficult – discuss this with me so that I can give you helpful hints and tips for success, which you can keep in your portfolio and look back on, if ever things get tough again. You can also book booster sessions, for up to 3 hours or more, if you really want to learn intensively and work on your issues.
Learning the skills of CBT, will give you long term coping strategies that you can keep in your portfolio for ever and use for the rest of your life. And if you ever need to email, or have an extra session, or just a friendly reminder you can always contact me.