I’ve never had any counseling before, what can I expect in the first session?

First of all, rest assured it’s completely normal to feel hesitant, or a little concerned if you’ve never had counseling before. Next, allow me to allay those fears – there really is nothing to worry about.

In this, and in any session in fact, you can ask me anything you like. In return
I’ll ask you a series of questions too, trying to find out exactly what it is that is bothering you, and what, in particular, you’d like us to address.

The session lasts an hour, during which time I’ll get to know you better, and we’ll tailor a therapy approach that is most suited to you and your needs, focusing on what you want to get out of the process.

At the end of our first meeting we’ll have a plan. We’ll know how many sessions might be required, we’ll know what approach we’re going to take, and hopefully, you’ll walk out of the door feeling lighter than you did when you walked in.

You’ve made the first step to overcoming your issues, and many clients have told me that just knowing they’ve made that move, has made an enormous difference in their perspective on life – straight away.

How long will each therapy session last?

The first session is an hour. Every session thereafter is 50 minutes.

How many therapy sessions will I need?

As you can imagine it’s different for everyone. Some issues can be resolved in just a couple of sessions, and some take more than that, spread out over a longer period of time. It depends on you, it depends on the extent of the issues you are dealing with, and every situation is unique.

My approach is collaborative, personal, and tailored – so we’ll work together on this, and you’ll be involved in deciding how many sessions are required, how many you can manage, and how many you have time for. Therapy is not just a one-way street – you have input into this too.

That being said you should know that in some circumstances, a long-term commitment is required to bring about meaningful change. Some evidence-based approaches for example, demand a minimum time frame to properly work – often in the range of 10 – 30 session hours. We’ll figure it out together.

In certain situations, where it becomes apparent that a client would benefit
from long-term therapy yet the finances are not there to allow it, I can assist in accessing a range of ‘free case management’ services from an array of public and non-government service providers.

How do I know if I need to see a therapist?

We all struggle now and again in life, however if your thoughts, feelings, behaviours
or relationships are troublesome in a way that you can’t seem to resolve, then counselling, or therapy can help you get unstuck.

And if you feel like you’re not reaching your full potential, a therapist can help there too. You don’t have to be experiencing a crisis of any sort. You may just feel as if you’re in a rut, needing some motivation, or direction to lead a more fulfilling life.

If either of the above situations apply to you, you would benefit from seeing a therapist.

Can anyone benefit from therapy?

The short answer is yes. Anyone who wants to enact change in his or her life can benefit from therapy. If you can identify with any of the following, I can help.

  • “I’m going through a crisis.”
  • “I’m experiencing rapid change in my life.”
  • “I’m experiencing no change in my life.”
  • “I feel distressed and overwhelmed.”
  • “I feel down almost all the time.”
  • “I feel angry, often anxious.”
  • “I’m experiencing a lot of conflict in my relationships.”
  • “I feel like nobody understands me.”
  • “I feel very alone.”
  • “I’ve lost my motivation and self-belief.”
  • “I’ve lost a loved one.”
  • “I’ve been struggling since my relationship ended.”

Do I need a referral from a GP or medical practitioner to get started?

No, all you have to do is call me, and say hello. Or fill out the contact form on the website, and I’ll call you whenever you like.

Do I get a rebate?

Rebates are possible depending on the circumstances. Also, in some cases where the finances are not there to support long-term therapy, support is available from a range of ‘free case management’ services. Give me a call and we can find out what might work for your circumstances.

I’ve been struggling with my issues for years, and I’m not entirely sure that change is actually possible. Can you convince me otherwise?

Change is possible, for everyone. I see it every day. No matter how long you’ve been dealing with your issues, no matter who you are.

Even if you’ve developed your own coping mechanisms, you’re here, now, reading this. Psychological treatments, counseling and therapy, have been clinically proven to help effectively manage mental health issues.

This is what happens.

You come along for an initial session, and we determine the scope of the problem. We develop a plan to deal with it. Then we work through the program and at the end, once you feel that change has taken place, we develop a series of strategies to help you cope with any future crises that may occur.

How is talking to a counsellor or therapist different from talking to friend?

While talking to a good friend can be a therapeutic act in itself, it’s very
different from talking to me in a therapy session, in a number of ways.

  1. I’m a trained health professional with over 10 years experience in helping people in situations just like yours
  2. Every minute we spend together, we’ll be focusing entirely on your needs
  3. I don’t know you, so I can bring an objective perspective to the table
  4. Whenever you want to stop talking, and reflect in peace, there will be no pressure to proceed
  5. Everything we discuss will be kept in absolute confidence.

What is counseling, and what is therapy, how do I know what I need?

Counselling is a consultative process that helps you deal with a specific life event, or challenge – the loss of a relationship, or the death of a loved one for example. It will help reduce your stress and anxiety levels, and resolve any internal crises you may have.

You’ll develop goals for change, and you’ll learn how to activate your own inner resources to deal with the distress caused by the event in question. You’ll also find that your enhanced ability to cope with stresses and strains, will help in your long-term, overall health and wellbeing.

Therapy, or psychotherapy, is less about dealing with one specific event, and more about managing change in the personality, or self. It’s entirely possible that the personality ‘issue’ may be derived from a singular event, but that’s not immediately apparent in most cases.

What often happens, is people begin to notice that they ‘always find
themselves’ in a particular (not very desirable) situation. Perhaps a pattern begins to emerge, similar issues arise time and again in different contexts and relationships. Eventually the thought occurs, why does this always happen to me?

This is where psychotherapy comes in. It helps people achieve a greater sense of self-awareness, leading to a better understanding of ‘why’ these behavioural patterns exist. Once this is known, a plan can be put in place to address the underlying cause, and the long-standing behavioural ‘ticks’. And they can all be resolved over time.

There is some overlap between counseling and therapy, and if you’re not sure what kind of assistance you would benefit from the most, just call and ask.

Once again rest assured, all professional counsellors and psychotherapists work within clearly contracted, ethical relationships to support people through difficult times in their lives. So you’re in safe hands.

How do I approach a friend who I think needs help?

It’s not an easy thing to do. If you know someone who you think would
benefit from some support, feel free to call me and discuss the situation.

If there are any questions you have that are not answered here, please call me and ask, or, simply fill out the contact form and ask – I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.