Some people come to Counselling knowing there is a particular concern they want to work on and are looking for assistance in making changes. Some are experiencing distress or crisis in their lives or relationships and are looking for support and guidance. Some have experienced abuse, trauma or grief and would like to explore, make sense of their experiences and seek healing whilst building strategies to cope with and function in everyday life. Deciding what you want to achieve from your counselling sessions and clarifying expectations with your Counsellor is important.
A Counsellors role is to listen well, be non- judgemental, build a safe and supportive relationship, guide and walk alongside you as you explore, process, heal and change. The aim of Counseling is to facilitate progress toward emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual health and well-being.
2. What can I expect when I come for the first time?
When you arrive at Crossroads, you will be asked to complete a brief information form and some short assessments to help your Counsellor understand what life is currently like for you and the concerns that you bring to Counselling. This will take 10-15 minutes so if you arrive a little early it will not take up any of your session time. If you need assistance completing paperwork let the counsellor know when you make initial appointment or feel free to bring along someone to help you.
Your Counsellor will then invite you in to the Counselling room and you will have the opportunity to share your story and concerns in detail with the Counsellor asking you appropriate questions. Toward the end of your first session and if you wish to return, you will decide on treatment priorities and plan with your Counsellor a session frequency to suit your needs and finances. You can then book a regular appointment time.
3. How long is a Counselling session?
Initial session are longer (75min for individuals and 90min for couples) Try to arrive 15 minutes early for your first session so paperwork can be completed without taking up your session time.
Subsequent Counselling sessions are 55 minutes for individuals and 75min for couples.
4. What if I can’t make it to my appointment?
If you are unable to attend for any reason, please notify your Counsellor as soon as possible. Late arrivals will result in a short session as the Counsellor may have other clients booked in following you.
Cancellations are understandable at times but persistent cancellations or no shows without notification will result in forfeiting your regular appointment time. Cancellation fees for short notice do apply and are noted on the consent form.
5. Is what I say confidential?
Yes, however the following limitations to confidentiality exist:
- If your own or another person’s safety is considered to be at risk
- If the Counsellor is required to fulfill their legal obligation as a mandatory reporter
- If your approval has been obtained to discuss your information with another person or professional and will be limited to that information which is relevant and has been agreed upon
- If notes or Counsellor are subpoenaed by a court
- If you are under the age of 18 years then confidentiality issues will be discussed with you.
6. What if I am in crisis between sessions?
a) Consider if you have anyone within your network who may be willing to provide emergency assistance and support
b) Contact your Counsellor for an emergency appointment, telephone or Skype session (standard fees apply) if available
c) You can call Lifeline on 13114 24/7 and this can be a helpful interim measure especially in the night when usual supports may be unavailable
d) Call 000 if you are in immediate danger