Danielle’s Diary of beginning therapy

A blog describing one person’s experience of the first six sessions of counselling.

First step – Making an appointment.

Just made my first appt with the counsellor. She seemed OK on the phone. We didn’t really talk about my issues, more the practicalities. Next Tuesday 11am. Still not sure… may change my mind.

First arrival

So…didn’t change my mind …arrived and managed to find the waiting room the counsellor told me about. Turned up a bit early as I was nervous about whether I’d get here on time, (did take a wrong turn). Feeling anxious but don’t want to let it show. Not sure what to expect. I want help, but really hope therapist is OK, otherwise I’ll clam up.

Session 1

Therapist collected me and seemed pleasant enough. We both were more relaxed once we got in the room & I found myself doing all the talking…which I wasn’t expecting. She went through how it all worked and I didn’t have the feeling that she was going to make me stay if I didn’t want to. In fact she seemed to think I was in charge which was a bit of a relief if I’m honest. I was worried that I would be sucked into something I didn’t want. She seemed to gently help me focus on the problem I’d brought and next thing I was in tears, which I hadn’t expected either. By the end of the session I felt I’d spoken more freely than I ever have done, and that helped me make sense of things. Said I’d like to come back for more. But I might still change my mind, as usual.

Session 2

Didn’t change my mind – in fact felt a bit more relaxed this time and was even looking forward to it. Feels like a space just for me, which is novel.

Session 3

I’d like to know more about my therapist – like has she got children, how old is she, is she in a relationship. Can’t imagine asking her any of that though.

Session 4

We talked about how the sessions were going and whether or not I was happy /interested in continuing. I said I was as I felt it had been helpful to say things out loud that usually go round and round my head, leaving me with a headache. What I didn’t say though was that I thought things in my life should have changed by now. But I’m always a bit impatient so I reckon I can give it a go for a few more.

Session 5

There was one bit today where I felt a bit irritated when she seemed to have a reaction when I was telling her about how close we all were as a family. Didn’t like to tell her that though. and then felt irritated with myself as a result.

Session 6

Really surprised I turned up for this one – was feeling more and more irritated about the family thing from last week, so sat down in a bad mood.. She said she had a sense that something was going on for me. I thought too right, but I didn’t know how to tell her what it was. In fact what I really thought was look I’m paying you to sort me out so you should know what’s going on . had 15 minutes to go (I like to keep an eye on the time) when she just said something out of the blue like ‘I wonder what would help you tell me what’s really going on for you today?’ well that was all I needed really to tell her because it felt like she was really focussed on me.. So I told her and it felt awkward but afterwards I felt like a weight had lifted. And actually I realised that though we are a close family – sometimes that’s good for me and sometimes it’s not.

Session 7

Have been thinking about me and my parents during the week. I’m beginning to see that maybe I’m too close to my mum especially sometimes. I wonder how much I do what I want rather than what my mum thinks is best. I mean I’m 26 but so far I don’t feel I’ve really taken any control over my own life. Like I really wanted to do art at college but my mum said I’d be better off getting a job, so that’s why I’m in a ‘steady’ office job rather than doing some creative. When my counsellor asked me how that was for me I suddenly felt really sad…Haven’t ever told my mum how I feel .

Session 8

Had a bit of a light bulb moment during the week. I was thinking about not telling my mum how I really felt and why wouldn’t I do that And then I was rereading this diary and noticed all the other times I haven’t said what I’m thinking to the counsellor. And also how I hadn’t ever told even my best friend about how miserable I was feeling. And I thought how close really am I to anybody? I shared this with my counsellor and she said maybe could I give her an example of things I wanted to say to her but hadn’t. So I told her about how annoyed I was when she seemed to be questioning my family stuff. And we actually had a good chat about it. At the end she said maybe this was something we could look at again next week.

We hope you found this helpful. This client was very happy for this to be shared on our web-site as it helped them in writing it and they hoped it may help others reading it. We didn’t use her own name to protect her identity.

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