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  • Writer's pictureAmy May

What to Expect ~ Your First Counselling Appointment

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Oh the nervousness!

Coming in for your first therapy appointment can feel quite nerve-wracking! Many participants speak to this experience when they first get started in a counselling relationship. From my own experience, I too, have felt the uncertainty in getting underway.

One thing that has helped me in the past is to know what to expect! This article's purpose is to prepare you for your first counselling visit.

Before Your First Counselling Session!

  1. You can either book through this website (which will automatically start the registration process) or speak with me directly, and I will send you a link in your email to create a participant profile on the Jane App. This will allow you to sign in and complete your client intake and go over and sign the Informed Consent form. These two things are completed before we begin our work together.

  2. If using an in-person option, I will personally greet you in the counselling space as I work 1:1 with participants.

  3. I will promptly start our online session through the Jane App if you choose an online option. You will be provided with a link in your email to click on to start the session.

  4. Lastly, if you choose a phone session, you will provide me with a phone number to connect with, and I will reach out to you at our scheduled appointment time.

The flow of the First Session!

  1. When we start, I will go over confidentiality and other important policies you need to know about. It is important that you understand my limitations (and all social work professionals) around privacy and when I have to ethically breach this as a professional. I want you to be a well-informed participant.

  2. I will want to get to know you a little bit AWAY from the issues that bring you in to see me! My philosophy aligns with Narrative Therapy principles, which state that YOU are NOT the problem; the PROBLEM is the problem. So before we get started, I like to hear a little about you first!

  3. Next, we'll look at what brings you into the office for counselling and why it is important for you to address this problem and your relationship to it now.

  4. The first counselling session is usually a place where a good deal of unpacking happens, which is okay and also expected.


  1. Our counselling session will last for 60 minutes. As we wind down, I will check in with you about the experience and see if you feel we've made a good enough connection to continue the ongoing work together.

  2. At any time, you have the right to end our time together, especially if you feel we are not tracking well. I encourage all participants to ensure the fit is good; if not, keep looking! You have the right to find the best kind of care for you!

  3. If you feel our session has gone well, we will rebook for the next meeting.

  4. I also like to make use of session summary notes as well! While this won't typically be every session, you may receive from me notes around the session, things we discussed to reflect on between appointments and appropriate resources to support your goals.

And that's it! If you have any questions, be sure to reach out!



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