“I’M NERVOUS BECAUSE I’VE NEVER SEEN A COUNSELOR/Life Coach BEFORE, WHAT EXACTLY SHOULD I EXPECT IN A FIRST-TIME SESSION?”
I hear this question often and I understand. If you have never reached out to talk to a counselor/coach/therapist before – it can be a little (or a lot) scary. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be- in fact, it can be incredibly liberating. Something else that might give you courage is knowing that this isn’t my first time around the block; I’ve seen a bit of everything and I believe I make the process far more comfortable than first-timers think it will be. My office is quiet, calm and peaceful. It’s a haven from a crazy world.
My job, especially because of the nature of my practice, is first and foremost to never judge clients. Nothing is silly and nothing is off-limits. Many therapists have their own “no zones” – issues that make them personally uncomfortable and thus inappropriate counsel for someone wanting to address those specific issues. I don’t have that. You can tell me anything and everything. I am also bound by an ethical obligation to keep anything we discuss completely confidential. I CANNOT reveal my opinions, observations or any information that passes between us to anyone for any reason without your express permission. What happens in my office – stays in my office. That is a guarantee. Think of me like a sealed vault for your private thoughts and actions.
How to get started: Once you decide to try a session with me, you should contact me using the “Contact” form on my website- emails are always the fastest way to get a response. After we schedule your first appointment you will be asked to fill out and return a “Client-Intake” form and email or bring it back with you to our first appointment. Once you arrive at my office, you will choose a seat in my (very comfortable) space and I will sit down across from you and say, “What brings you here today?”.
From there, in first time sessions, we’ll just talk. That’s all. What we discuss is up to you. Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them talk about anything they wish, without judgment or opinion. Some people want me to ask questions to help them discover their reason for visiting. Some people want help finding answers to specific questions. Others want to change major behaviors or attitudes that are harmful to their relationship with themselves or others. Some people want to engage in a debate on philosophical ideas. I go where my clients want to go. After that, I point them in the direction I think will help them reach their goals. What I won’t do is try to get in your head and dig around for things you aren’t there to discuss or try to convince you that it’s all mom or dad’s fault (though sometimes it really is!).
The most important thing to know about me is to understand that I won’t shame you and I won’t ever tell you that you’re bad for being who you are or doing what you’ve been doing. I will ask the hard questions when I believe that’s what you need, but I won’t judge. I also won’t waste your money if I feel like I can’t help. In the event that one or the other of us feels we aren’t the right match, I happily refer a client to someone I think may better suit them. My goal is to facilitate your goals – not keep you in an endless cycle of sessions.
Counseling and coaching do not always require you to come to see me indefinitely, either. I am not the kind of counselor who keeps you returning just for the money. When we first meet, I will assess your reasons for seeking my services and together we will outline a plan and set a date for when we will reevaluate your progress. I believe in the work I do; helping people change their lives for the better is my passion. If you are still unsure about making an appointment, please send me your questions. I can also provide you with a score of references- all of whom who can attest to my dedication to their success.
A visit with me really is a pleasant experience, even when discussing unpleasant issues. I can honestly say that every first-timer I’ve ever worked with has remarked upon how easy it was and how they regret having waited so long to try it. Don’t live with regret- try a session now.