We have put together some information for people who are new to counselling and psychotherapy about what to expect when entering into a psychotherapeutic relationship and experience the process of talking to an independent other person – perhaps for the first time. Therapists are people too and will generally have first-hand experience of what you are going through, including those feelings of anxiety, apprehension and bewilderment when making that initial telephone call or sending an email. We hope that these explanations and observations go some way to putting you at ease.
We all have a ‘story’, we are all fallible beings with a past; this being an important feature in therapy, knowing that you are not alone in your struggles – that many of us have sat in the client’s seat in the therapy room. In reassuring you, counsellors and psychotherapists are required to undergo personal therapy as part of training, and post-qualifying, at routine intervals. We are also required to have regular supervision of our practice with an independent counsellor or psychotherapist. In this sense, at least, we have experience of being in ‘the other seat’.
Asking for help is admitting that things are not great for us right now, or for a lot longer, and taking a chance in seeing and confiding in a complete stranger – albeit somebody who is qualified and experienced in working with emotional, psychological, and mental health issues. Possibly somebody recommended you to contact Banish the Crows or you found your way to this website by fluke, because of the name, or you looked at a photograph and thought that this might be somebody that you could trust. Finding a therapist without recommendation is generally this random. However, we are glad that you came across Banish the Crows and are reading this. We also hope that you book a consultation and find out how we might work together to help you, in some way.
Initially entering into some form of therapy can be daunting – the anxiety of that first meeting and then starting to open up, to ‘tell your story’. Sharing personal and distressing information can be hard for some people and you may experience some discomfort during and immediately after that first session. You may become extremely thoughtful and reflective. Even after the second or third session. This is completely normal. However, if you’ve found the right therapist for you it will get easier and better and you’ll find yourself making sense of things – making progress with overcoming problems; perceiving them, and yourself differently in a way that you thought you never could.
Trusting your therapist, the therapy process, and yourself will be really important if you’re going to make the changes in your life that you are seeking to. You might experience trust as a challenge but it is worth persevering with.