If you have never experienced counselling before it’s natural to wonder what it’s about, what’s likely to happen and how it all works. 


Counselling Room


Firstly, although you will hear counsellors refer to the room it isn’t always the case that counselling will be face to face. Counselling can also take place by telephone or online just as effectively. The counselling room is the space created for you to have your therapy, you might be in a room in your own home or even outdoors as some counsellors offer walk and talk therapy. Whatever the setting the ‘counselling room’ is simply the environment you are in when the therapy takes place.




Sessions generally last 50 minutes and are sometimes referred to as a ‘therapeutic hour’. Some counsellors may offer longer session times but generally speaking you can expect 50 minutes.


Where to start?


It can feel quite daunting to start counselling, what should I say? Where do I start? What will be expected of me? For me, I will start by doing an assessment and all that means is I will ask you about yourself and what has motivated you to seek counselling. You may well have questions about how therapy works, how long it takes, can it really help? This is your opportunity to ask them and to get a clear picture about what counselling can and can’t do. 


Working together


Building relationships takes time and counselling is a collaborative relationship between you and your counsellor. Many counsellors follow an Ethical Framework which is a way of working that prioritises the client’s needs and sets out principles and values to work by. The most important of which is to put clients first, for me this means working to put my clients at ease, not to push them to explore issues they are not ready for, being open, honest and transparent in my work and putting them in control. 


You may be asked questions, you could be asked to keep a diary or given an exercise to complete before your next session. There are many different types of therapy and they are delivered in different ways so your counsellor will let you know what is expected of you.


There can be periods of silence during counselling, this can feel uncomfortable at first but it’s usually a period to allow you to process your emotions, give time for composure, reflection or just acknowledging strength of feelings. 


Ending the session


Your Counsellor will keep an eye on the time and bring the session to a close. You may feel quite emotional, tired or drained. It’s important to practice some self-care afterwards to help you process what’s been discussed, particularly if you are then going straight back into your work/family life. This might mean a walk, cup of tea, dancing around the room, whatever you need to just take some time out. 


If you are thinking about having counselling and have any questions or you would like to know more please get in touch, I’d be happy to support you.