How Might Sessions Be Structured?
My approach to counselling is completely client-centred. There is no "cookie cutter" approach to working with an individual.
The tools I use with clients depends on their needs.
The first session is a bit longer (90min), as this session is all about getting to know one another (establishing rapport), me getting to hear about the client's intentions for our work together, and answering any questions the client may have about the counselling process. We also fulfil all the necessary client-intake forms (required for each new client). This session establishes our counsellor-client foundation. It is also in this session where we decide on the road forward, and also if the client's needs are indeed within my scope of practice. If they are not, then I may refer to an industry professional who is better suited to help the client (a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, GP, etc).
Follow-up sessions are 1 hour long, although they may sometimes go over time. If a session does go over time, the client will be informed as such, and has the option to continue if time allows it. Extended sessions will be charged accordingly.
A session may include various approaches, including narrative counselling, life coaching, hypnosis techniques, mindfulness, mind-body processes, holistic interventions, and more. Clients are always given activities to do between sessions, to ensure organic shifts take place outside of the counselling space. "Homework" may include certain journalling activities, reflections, meditations, breathing exercises, goal setting, completing of worksheets, and techniques to try out at home/work/school (for example, in anger management, certain approaches are taught to highlight the origins of anger, how to deal with outbursts, learning skills of non-violent communication etc). This personal "growth work" is always encouraged to be done, as it can ensure the success of our work together.
The time we spend together will vary from client to client. Short-term issues can take as little as 1 month to rectify. Other clients prefer to walk a journey over a longer time.