What is an online consultation session?
An initial consultation session is an important first step in the couple’s counselling process. It’s an opportunity for me to begin to build the picture of your relationship, and consider suitable ways of working together. It’s also an opportunity for you to get to know me, consider whether working with me would be suitable for you, and also whether having couple’s counselling sessions online will be suitable for you.
*Once your booking has been confirmed, I will send 3 emails, a Zoom link for the consultation session, one with some paperwork to complete and sign, and an invoice with direct payment link. It’s all fairly straightforward, and you can sign the paperwork digitally, but I am happy to help if you have any questions or need any help with anything.
Online consultation sessions last one hour, and are payable at the same rate of counselling sessions, currently £95.
*Please note – Consultation sessions can only go ahead after both the completed paperwork and payment has been received.
What will happen during the call?
A typical first session online with a new couple includes me guiding the conversation with questions to help me understand what your needs from counselling are.
You may sit side by side on the same device for the call, or log in from different devices in different spaces. If you are unable to be in the same space for call, online sessions offer the flexibility to access the service even when you are apart.
I will begin by introducing myself, and checking we have sound and video and are all connected with each other. You can switch your video off if you prefer.
I will then go over a few key points regarding the formalities (confidentiality, gdpr etc) and ask if you have any questions about anything regarding the paperwork.
The kinds of things I’m looking to understand better in the first session are how long you’ve been together, what works well in the relationship, what are the things you would like the counselling process to help with. The goals as much as possible should be considered in terms of what you would like to be doing differently at the end of it. Don’t worry too much if it’s not fully clear yet though, sometimes it becomes clearer after a few sessions.
I’m also interested to learn more about any conflict in the relationship and if that has changed over time.
If appropriate, I will take some time to tell you a little about myself, my background and how I came to be doing this work. I will also give some examples of the kinds of things we can use the sessions for. There is no prescriptive formula for the work as every couple/individual is very different and has very different needs. The general approach is ‘explore, understand, action.’ Together, we need to fully explore what the issues are, and ensure we understand them. Action refers to the changes we aim to make. The 3 things do interlink of course, but the explore/understand elements are important to ensure we are making the right changes.
Towards the end of the session I will give some suggestions about the next steps, and any particular exercises that may be useful for further sessions, and ask if you have any questions. I will ask if you would like to book another session, or if you would like to take some time to think about it. There is no obligation to book further sessions.
Some clients find it helpful to use a bit of time towards the end to agree an agenda for the next session as this helps to reduce anxiety. I can help you with this if this is something you would like to do.
If you wish to use the chat function throughout the call you are very welcome to do this at any point. You are also very welcome to take notes. Some clients like to do an activity (doodling, fidget toys, crocheting for example) as they find this helps with focus/reduces anxiety. Others find it distracting, but you are welcome to try anything that may help if you wish. Please know you are welcome to take a break at any point.
How do I book an online consultation session?
If you are ready to go ahead and book a consultation for online couple’s counselling, please send your availability between 9am and 9pm Monday-Friday to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to find a suitable slot for you.