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How can Counselling Work?

What will the Sessions be like?

Matt Paxton





Sessions are normally in a one to one setting. Sometimes, couples wish to be seen together to discuss
their difficulties and find a resolution; sometimes various family members wish to attend to look at
problems within the family dynamic.

As with nearly all counsellors, my sessions are 50 minutes in duration. This is known as the therapeutic hour.

Most clients tend to find that open-ended counselling is best suited to them. Open-ended means that a
client enters into counselling with no fixed end date in mind. The reason that this is more suitable to most is that settling into the counselling environment can be a new and unusual experience, and in order to be able to benefit from counselling to the best advantage, it may take a little time.

The alternative to open-ended counselling is time limited or brief therapy. This is more common for
clients who see a counsellor within the NHS framework, although it is possible that a client may feel
more comfortable with this approach when seeing a counsellor privately. The time limited approach can be
effective when working with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

It is always possible that a client feels they need to speak to me before our next scheduled session. This being so, ad hock sessions can generally be arranged.

Assessment  / Introductory Session

To enable a counsellor to ascertain if they feel a client would benefit from counselling and indeed for the client to see if they would feel comfortable to work with the counsellor, an introductory session is usually advised; this is known as an assessment. Although it may take the counsellor longer to fully comprehend the client's situation, an assessment is usually sufficient for both parties to make a decision regarding the commencement of counselling.