Your first appointment will be 60 minutes long. This session is about getting an idea of the issues you would like help to resolve. I will ask questions that are aimed at getting as full a picture of your life story and history of the presenting problem as possible. Sometimes this can feel a bit intrusive or embarrassing and you are welcome to let me know if you are feeling embarrassed or unhappy to disclose certain information. The case history is useful in helping me to develop a plan of ways to work together. I will also want to know if you have ever engaged in therapy before, or have tried different solutions to your problem. This helps me get an idea of what has or hasn’t worked for you, and why.
Sometimes there will be silence and I may not speak; this is normal and gives me time to think about what you have said. Lots of people worry about what their Psychologist is thinking of them, so this first appointment can be a chance for you to talk about what you might be worried about on entering therapy.
After your appointment, you might feel tired or experience an increase in the feelings you have wanted to work on, that’s quite normal, and I usually advise people to plan to do something nice after the session and not rush back to the busyness of life.
In the meantime, I will write to you giving you my opinion of the need for therapy and what we can work on together to help you resolve your difficulties. If I think you would be better served by a different service I will let you know and assist you in accessing something more appropriate.
Sometimes it is important for your wellbeing for me to make contact with your GP or link in with services you access in relation to your health. This is to ensure you receive as comprehensive and joined up care as possible across different services. If I have immediate concerns about your wellbeing, this will be discussed with you and options for further action will be explored and agreed. For example, sometimes people can feel quite hopeless and not have the motivation to continue to look after themselves, therefore it may be necessary for me to advise them to seek help from their GP for some medication to assist with this, along with accessing a talking therapy.
If, after this first session, you choose not to engage in therapy, or wish to delay the start, you are welcome to discuss this with me and I could assist in helping you seek alternative services.
Things to bring with you:
Glasses or hearing aid, if you wear them
A notebook and pen, if you wish to take any notes
Any previous letters, reports or notes from therapists/psychologists or the referring agent
The most important thing is that you are able to make the most of your appointment and feel able to fully participate.
With regards payment, this can be made via Paypal, cheque, or cash. I will provide you with the details when you attend your session.