The initial appointment
A first appointment can feel like walking into an unfamiliar landscape.
But this session is important to explore the concerns and aspirations you have and to decide if psychological therapy can be helpful. I need to know something about you and your life to see how I can help; you need to know something about how I work in order to feel confident about continuing into therapy.
I will usually ask you about what feels problematic in your life and also about anything that’s going well. Discussing your goals and hopes is important at this stage, providing direction for our work together.
I sometimes suggest completing some short questionnaires. These may highlight areas for further discussion and also form a useful baseline for later comparison – a concrete way to be aware of change.
Confidentiality and trust are key to a helpful therapeutic relationship. An agreement about confidentiality is part of a contract for therapy that we’ll discuss before undertaking any work together. The contract can also give us a useful practical framework. For example it might include: to meet weekly for 10 sessions; to take a particular therapeutic approach; to review progress every 5 sessions, etc. Such agreements are only to provide a helpful structure and are not binding arrangements.