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What to Expect from Counselling

Many people find the idea coming to therapy or Counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) daunting. Not only might they be opening themselves up for the very first time, they'll also be opening up to a complete stranger. Many people express concerns such as “what will they think of me?” or “will they judge me or think I’m weak?” However, our therapists understand that the pain or upset a person may feel is, more often than not, due to an unfortunate set of life experiences and is certainly no ‘fault’ of anyone for which they might be ‘judged’.
Once the first tentative steps have been taken, many people discover that because the therapist is a complete stranger it has a liberating effect – knowing that everything discussed during your session will remain between you and your therapist is very reassuring. Complete confidence and trust is essential to the process of therapy and is a principle to which we are ethically and professionally bound.
There is no particular point in life when people come to therapy, but it’s often when confronted by a sense of not being able to move forward, or change. Significant events such as bereavement and loss, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, questioning who one is or feeling unable to get over past events are common reasons for seeking counselling or CBT.

The first session
The first session will not only allow you the opportunity to talk through what is troubling you. It will also, as importantly, enable you to decide whether your chosen counsellor is someone with whom you are comfortable with and feel you can open up to.

You will be able to discuss your particular concerns and explore the changes you would like to make, along with how you would like your life to be once you achieve what you set out to in therapy. We will then start to form a collaborative strategy in order for you to reach your goals.

You will not be required to commit to counselling if you feel it is not right for you, for whatever reason. You might perhaps feel that your therapist is not right for you.  Please don’t worry about that, there are plenty of other therapists whose style and experience might be better suited to you.

Ending Therapy
It might sound odd to already be talking about ending therapy, but it’s important to understand that therapy always has an ending in mind even as it starts out.  At counselling Ashford we don’t believe people should be expected to enter into an open-ended arrangement where sessions meander towards no particular goal.

Rather that it should be time-limited and focused on a clear outcome. Whether 'time-limited' means six weeks or six months clearly depends on the particular set of difficulties you’re facing, but you certainly are not entering into an open-ended long term contract.

That said, an ending does not have to be absolute and it can be reassuring to know that you can always come back to see your counsellor for an occasional progress review or when you feel you need a boost in confidence after a particular set-back. You can even come back for another short course of therapy to help consolidate a new positive perspective or commitment.