There’s one question that pretty much everyone wants to know before coming to their first session… WHAT HAPPENS?
So I thought I would take a little time to try to answer this for you.
Disclaimer: Every clinican has their own style, but I’ve tried to keep this as general as possible!
When most people think of counselling, psychology, or therapy they think of Freud and the lounge.
Something a little like this?
You may be pleased to know that this is not how we do therapy here at Psychological Solutions! We want you to feel comfortable and relaxed, and for many people laying on a couch talking to someone who you can’t see is not comfortable OR relaxing.
So what actually happens?
First of all, we always ask you to come at least 10 minutes early to your first appointment. You’ll come into our wonderful waiting room, where one of our lovely admin girls will take your name and ask you to complete a couple of initial forms. There’s a great outdoor area where you can sit in the sun (and maybe see our cat Jazzy!), or you can chill inside with the fishes. If you’d like a coffee, tea, or water, just let the girls know and they’ll be happy to help!
When it’s time, your clinician will come out to greet you and bring you into a private room that looks a little something like this…
You get the couch, we get the chair. You don’t have to lay down – just sit comfortably!
You will probably be pleased to know that EVERYONE is nervous at this point. It’s a very strange situation to be in, but we hope it is also one you’ll come to love!
The first part of the session is usually just more housekeeping! Your clinician may have some extra forms for you to fill out, and may start by talking about the kind of referral you have (like Medicare, ATAPS, etc.) and what this means for you. If you have any questions about fees, the length of sessions, or any administration-type queries, now is a great time to ask.
After this is taken care of, it’s time to really start. Feeling those nerves kick in again? That’s totally normal and we expect things to be a little tense to start with. Luckily, we have lots of experience at putting both adults and children at ease!
From here on out each session is as different as each of our clients, but the point of this session is simply to get to know you and find out what you’re hoping to get out of coming. Some people like to jump straight into talking about why they’ve come, others like to work up to it gradually – we’ll go along with whatever you’re comfortable with and won’t pressure you to talk about anything you’re not ready to discuss. This is YOUR session.
By the end of the session, we always hope to have a goal or two so we can start planning future sessions for you, but this absolutely does NOT happen every time. Sometimes there’s a lot to talk about before we get to goals, and that’s OK.
If you’re a parent bringing in a child, we usually like to bring them in during the second half of the session so we can get to know each other! This part of the session is often just playing games (we have the BEST board game collection!) and a casual chat about things like school, friends, and favourite things. If you’re concerned about your child being bored in the waiting room, don’t worry! We have iPads, books, and loads of cool toys to keep them happy. They are also welcome to play outside in our fenced yard.
At the end of the session, we will usually discuss how often you want to come in and how you would like sessions to be structured. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask your clinician at any time. They’re here to help and will do whatever they can to get you the information you need.
After the session, your clinican will usually walk you back to the waiting room, and leave you in the care of our admin team. The girls will sort out payment and organise your next appointment.
And that’s it! Hope this answered some questions!