What happens in your first counselling session?

Life brings challenges and no one misses out on having to deal with these at some stage or another.
Most times we gather up our usual strategies and get through; other times we hit a wall and just can’t seem to see through to the best options. These are the times when you may find your way to Revive Health and Happiness and whether your doctor has referred you or you have walked past our rooms or just Googled, we are here to help you to explore these options and support you as you work your way through challenging times.

The initial welcome:

Just like a GP or other health service, the initial phone call to reception allows you to make an appointment at a time that works best for you. Revive’s admin team are friendly and supportive and you will feel better right from their first cheerful response.

Appointment made – now what to expect?

The initial paperwork allows admin to get the basic contact and health care details and gives you all the information regarding confidentiality and responsibilities. Done. Next?

At the initial telephone contact, you will be offered a “Welcome Call” from your Psychologist. This can be reassuring before your first appointment and makes the initial introductions much more relaxed on the day.

Arriving for your appointment

Our friendly team will greet you with a warm smile and welcome.

An offer of a glass of water, tea or coffee and you are ready for your first session at Revive Health and Happiness. (If the admin staff are busy, help yourself at our Make Your Own table).

If you are early, feel free to read through our range of psychology books for sale, or choose your “challenge for the day” from our challenge box. (If you don’t get one you like, just choose another one!).

The actual session:

A psychological counselling session at Revive Health and Happiness can last from 50 minutes to 1 hour.

The initial session tends to be about finding out some information, getting to know you, and building a trusting relationship:

  • What brings you to counselling at this point? Is it a referral after a GP visit? What are your goals for therapy?
  • What are your symptoms? Can’t sleep? Low mood? Anxious? Stressed? How are these impacting your health, relationships, work? How long have these been occurring?
  • Some background information about you, your family, a history of medical and psychological problems experienced in you or your family.
  • What support networks do you have? What’s happening with your relationships? What are your strengths.
  • What has worked for you in the past? How do you normally work through difficult times?
  • What are health areas that can help alleviate the immediate stressors – improved sleep, exercise, better communication, basic health and nutrition.
  • What questions do you have?

What to expect after the first session?

  • Sometimes just verbalising your concerns brings a sense of relief and brings some clarity.
  • Your psychologist will provide you with a summary of what she/ he thinks is causing your presenting problems, and present a plan for what will be helpful
  • Having an immediate plan for the days ahead is useful but one session won’t change ingrained patterns of managing relationships, stress or life! Starting with weekly appointments goes a long way towards progress and finding psychological strategies to help.
  • You are most likely feeling more hopeful, more positive about addressing your concerns and ready to manage these challenges with some of the strategies discussed.

We look forward to seeing you at Revive Health and Happiness!

This article was written by our Registered Psychologist, Carla Bormolini.

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