What happens in the first session?
The first one or two sessions are a time for us to see how well we connect and for me to get to know more about you and your issues. During this time we will also talk about what you would like to get out of your sessions and how comfortable you feel with me. It is also important for me to assess whether couple or individual counselling is the best option for you.
How long does it take to see results?
My approach is both focussed and practical and is based on sound evidence. This means that if you attend regularly and commit to putting into practice what you learn in the sessions then you can expect changes to happen
How long is a session?
Face to face sessions last 60 minutes and sessions are booked weekly or fortnightly depending on your needs and the issues you are facing.
What happens if I am really nervous about counselling?
Feeling anxious or nervous about attending the first session is quite common and I will do my best to make you feel relaxed. I have had my own counselling from time to time so I understand what it can be like to talk to someone you don’t know about your personal life. It is also important to be honest about your feelings and to let me know if you are finding it difficult to talk about something that might be difficult.
Clients often tell me that they feel “lighter”, less burdened and clearer in their thinking after a session. Couples often express a renewed sense of hope about their relationship. There will however be times when painful feelings come to the surface or when you may feel overwhelmed or frustrated, this is to be expected but I will be there to support and guide you through these times.
Change and growth takes time and won’t happen overnight but you should begin to notice positive changes in your life and relationships.
Do couples attend sessions together or individually?
You can do both. Relationship counselling is most helpful when both partners attend and are committed to making the changes but it is not essential, you can attend on your own. Sometimes a partner may attend the first session on her/his own and we can talk about the benefit or need for the partner to attend.
Sometimes one partner is not too keen on counselling, when this happens we can talk about how to encourage the reluctant partner to give it a go or work on what we can.
Are counselling sessions confidential?
Yes! Confidentiality is an important part of any therapeutic relationship. I am bound by law to keep information confidential and secure.
There are exceptions when:
There is a risk of harm to yourself or someone else.
It is requested by a court subpoena.
You have given me prior approval to:
Provide a written report to another professional e.g. GP or lawyer.
Discuss the material with another person e.g. your partner or family member.
I do talk to a clinical supervisor about my clients but this is done in a professional manner and does not disclose identity. Supervision is essential to maintaining a high standard of therapy and ethics. All professional counsellors and therapists are required to have regular supervision.
Do you abide by a code of ethics?
I abide by the Society of Australian Sexologists (SAS) code of ethics. SAS in turn abides by the ethics of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS).
I am also governed by the Australian & New Zealand Creative Art Therapists Association Code of Ethics as I am a registered art psychotherapist.
My professional supervision ensures that I am upholding these codes.