Perhaps you’re thinking there is something in your life you would like to change, but you’re not quite sure how to go about finding the right person to help you?
The first thing you will probably do is to check an internet listing for a Counsellor near you. You might also talk to friends about recommendations.
Maybe you will check out the websites of professional associations, such as PACFA, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, for accredited Counsellors in your area.
A good way to find out more about particular Counsellors and Psychotherapists is to check their websites. You should be able to see their qualifications, accreditations and professional memberships. Membership of a professional association means that the therapist has completed appropriate training, and adheres to professional standards.
Counsellors are also required to undertake ongoing training and supervision. I trained with the Metavision Institute, and my training is accredited with PACFA. This means that it meets certain strict standards. I am also bound by a strict Code of Ethics.
Making an Appointment
It is a good idea to ring first, to meet your Counsellor over the phone before booking an appointment. This will help you to decide who is the right person for you. Some counsellors specialise in specific areas of interest, which may not be what you are looking for. My particular interest is in supporting children and families.
At this time, you can also ask about fees and payment terms before making an appointment. Appointments usually last for one hour, and some counsellors will suggest booking in for a longer session for your first visit.
Your First Visit
At your first visit you may be asked for details such as name and address, your usual doctor or medical practitioner, and whether you have seen a therapist previously. You will probably also be asked to sign a Therapy Agreement, which sets out details such as confidentiality, and the agreed fee. Your counsellor will explain their particular mode of therapy, and what to do if you meet up socially. Then you will be invited to discuss the reasons for your visit.
You will probably be sharing some deep, emotional issues, so it’s important to find someone you trust and feel safe with. You are looking for a person who you feel can relate to your experiences with empathy and compassion. Your counsellor will be able to sit with you and simply listen, and will to be judging you or offering advice.
The role of a counsellor is to follow your lead, and the therapist will help you to work with whatever is uppermost in your life at the time. They will probably start a session by asking “what brings you?”
It is normal to feel a bit nervous about asking for help. An experienced counsellor will probably have had similar experiences, and will have spent many hours working through their own issues.
If you feel I can help, or you would like to talk more, please give me a call on 0474 095 432.
If you are self or plan managed,
- You might be covered for Counselling sessions under your NDIS plan. Please talk to your ECEI Coordinator, LAC or NDIA planner.
- If you have a child aged 0 – 6 and you have concerns with their behaviour and/or early development, you may be eligible to receive parenting support from the NDIS through the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) program.