The Counselling Shed

What happens in a first counselling session

October 5th, 2022

Maybe you’ve been aware for sometime of feeling that you are somehow not enough: not good enough, not clever enough, not pretty enough, not capable or confident or successful enough, not man enough etc. 

You might also have been aware that these feelings have been holding you back in life and/or leaving you feeling that you are not as happy or as satisfied in life as would like to be. 

Yet despite knowing this, you’ve not yet taken the next step of reaching out for the support that could really help you. 

Many people have a lot of fear and apprehension about counselling because they don’t know what it quite involves and so if you are feeling like this then you are not alone. 

But these fears often stop people from ever picking up the phone or from writing an email to make that initial enquiry with a counsellor.  

For that reason I thought it would be a good idea to give you an idea of what happens in a first counselling session with me. 


Face-to-Face Counselling in Faversham or Online

A first thing for you to think about is whether you would be looking for Face-to-Face Counselling or Online Counselling – I offer both services. 

The Counselling Shed is discreetly located between Faversham and Canterbury in Kent and so it is ideally located for people who are looking for Counselling in Faversham or Counselling in Canterbury or for people who come from surrounding areas in Kent such as Whistable, Herne Bay, Sittingbourne or Ashford. 

If you were looking for a Face-to-Face appointment then prior to our first meeting we would have agreed the day and time of your appointment and I would have given you the location of The Counselling Shed and directions. 

If you had booked an online appointment then we would have agreed a day and time for the appointment and on the morning of your appointment I would email you a link to our zoom meeting. 

If your first session with me is online, then it is a good idea for you to make sure that you have a space where you will not be disturbed. If you live with others, then you might want to ask those people to not disturb you. Some people leave a radio on in another room so that others will not be listening in. You might also want to have a glass of water and a pen and paper to hand. Over recent years some clients have accessed counselling with me from their cars.


Getting to know one another

The main purpose of the first session really, is for us to get to know one another. 

Studies have been conducted to show that the effectiveness of counselling is not dependant upon the type of counselling you have (there are a number of different models of counselling out there), but on the quality of the relationship between the client and the counsellor. 

You would need to feel that I am someone that you could get along with and you would need to get a sense that what I can offer as a counsellor, is a good fit for what you are looking for. So as to make sure that I am the right counsellor for you, I will be reflecting about this too. 


Feeling apprehensive about Counselling?

I am aware that coming to counselling is a big step, a courageous step, and so if you were feeling fearful, unsure, hesitant, vulnerable or scared etc. then you would have my full understanding and part of my role is to support you to feel at ease. 


The Practicalities of Counselling

Alongside getting to know one another we would also need to discuss practical things such as agreeing dates and times for any future appointments, whether the sessions would be open-ended or time-limited, cost and payment terms etc. If you were having online counselling then we would also need to discuss what to do if the internet signal were to drop out.

At all stages I would hope to make you feel at ease and I would want you to feel that you were able to ask any questions that you had.



One of the ways in which counselling can really help is by offering you a confidential space where you can share whatever you decide you want to share. I am not your partner, wife, husband, other family member, friend or colleague and I want you to feel that you are in safe, confidential and trustworthy hands. 

However, there are a few exceptions to the confidentiality that counsellors are able to hold and we would fully talk through these in the first session. 


What are you looking for from counselling?

The other important aspect of a first session then, is for you to tell me a little bit about why you are looking for counselling. 

Again, I will be quite aware that you may be feeling scared or apprehensive. I am not sure if this would be the case with you but for many clients, this will be the first time that they have told anyone about the problems they are facing. 

I will be sensitive to how you are feeling and I am trained to listen with making you feel judged, shamed or threatened in any way.

Rest assured that I will respect your right to share as little or as much as your feel comfortable with, so that together we can work out what you might be looking for from counselling, what you might need and what the best way forward for you might be.

I will not ‘make you’ do anything or put any pressure or demands upon you but I will support you, and sometimes challenge you, to identify what it is that you need.

At the end of the first session you can then decide what you would like to do next. 


After the first session

Taking that first step is a courageous step and after a first counselling session you might find that you are feeling a little bit exposed or vulnerable. This is completely normal and understandable. 

I mention this because if you do book in an initial session with me then you might want to make sure that you have a little bit of time afterwards to just sit by yourself or to get a cup of tea or to go for a walk or a drive etc. before getting on with your day. 



So as to demystify the process, I hope that these brief notes have given you some flavour of what happens in a first counselling session with me. 

If you have any further questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Look, if you have been struggling, then please don’t go on struggling all on your own. (I know what that feels like and it is not pleasant). Reach out and get the support that you need. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Please click here for my contact details. 

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