The first therapy session
Taking the next step
My name is Adrian Yates and I have
been providing online therapy ses-
sions for almost eleven years and I
have been a therapist for sixteen
years. In that time I have had the
privilege of accompanying many cli-
ents on their journeys to recovery.
Starting therapy can be a big step
The first few sessions of therapy is normally an important time for you to be evaluating your connection with me the therap-
ist and to try and discover if this online service will help you find what you need.
I understand that starting therapy can be a big step and I do what I can to help reduce the unknowns. In the first session I
provide for free I normally start off by talking and offering some some basic information about my online therapy service.
I find that can be helpful as it allows people to get used to the experience without having to participate right away. It can be
helpful to only watch or listen for a while.
Therapy is not an interrogation, I try to give all my clients a sense of control, and i don’t just ask questions about sensitive
areas, I always ask permission first and there is nothing wrong in you saying no.
To help me build up an understanding about you, and to help me see if I can find any factors that may be adding to your
problems, it is necessary to ask a few general health questions to get an overview of your physical and mental health. You
can always say no to any question I ask, there is nothing wrong in you doing that.
I also need to discover if you have a good general understanding of the technology we are using for this therapy experience,
and understand if you are aware of the security implications with having any conversation online.
Trust has to be built
Expecting you to just open up and talk about your life experiences in the first session is rather disrespectful in my opinion. It
can sometimes take time to develop the relationship to a level that allows you to start to express the emotional distress and
difficult experiences you may have had.
You saying no to a question in therapy or enquiry is actually a good thing, it gives you control and that builds independence,
your independence is always to be encouraged.
What do I say or talk about?
Everyone is different, some clients in the first session find it easy to talk about their issues and express how they feel, some
find it very difficult to find the words to use, or feel unable to say anything at all, and that’s perfectly okay.
When a client finds it hard to talk they can feel a huge amount of pressure to make some kind of sentence, or put together a
few words. To a client in that situation the silence can feel deafening, obvious and embarrassing or terrifying, in that situ-
ation I usually find a way to genitally lessen the pressure and reduce the anxiety.
worried that you won’t know what to say
If you are worried that you won’t know how to start or what to say, it may help if you right out some notes before hand, or
answer the couple of questions I put here. I don’t expect you to do anything other than be yourself, if that means you are
completely silent most of the time that is completely okay.
What do I want to achieve with therapy?
What do I want to change in my life?
What do I want to stop or start with therapy?
What worries me about having therapy?
What do I not want to talk about?
When will I see the results?
How long it takes for you to see some positive results will depend on a number of things, including how long you have had
the issues and how big an impact they have had on your life. After the first session some people feel lighter and more re-
laxed, some feel very tired and thoughtful, and some people can feel emotionally uncomfortable or a bit distressed after the
You need to understand that having therapy is not always a good experience and it is quite normal for people to feel dis-
tressed talking about emotionally upsetting past experiences. This is part of the therapeutic process and it can take a lot of
courage to face what needs to be explored and expressed.
How to find out what therapy is like.
The only way for you to find out what your experience will be like for you is to try it. In my experience therapy can for some
clients start off being very difficult to do, but as time goes by it gets easier and less upsetting as more behaviours are under-
stood and emotional content is explored and expressed.
So, therapy can start off being a difficult experience and get better as time goes by, or from the start it can feel like a good
experience and well worth it. How it will be for you I can’t say, but I can say that even if it is difficult to start off, the journey
can be well worth the time spent.
Therapists will have supervision, this is where they can discuss their work and the supervisor can check the therapist is not
emotionally compromised and is fit to work. The emphasis is on the therapist and their clients relationships, as well as being
able to talk about any client issues and if they can improve in any way.
In supervision if your therapy comes up in discussion will not identify you in any way any information will be kept to a
Everything you talk about in therapy I will keep totally confidential and not share with anyone unless you give me written
permission. except where:
You communicate an intention to harm yourself or harm someone else.
You tell me that you or others are involved in terrorist activities.
You indicate that you are actively engaged in child abuse or pose a risk to vulnerable adults or children.
In some circumstances all therapists are bound by law to break your confidentiality, for example, if ordered to do so
by a court of law or you are an imminent direct threat to a person or persons life.
I do not keep expensive session notes of what you say in therapy. I may keep some simple information regarding your name
Skype name and e-mail address or notes about homework.
I do not make any recordings of the video or voice only sessions.
All your information is kept encrypted and securely stored and in an anonymous form.
It is important for both therapist and client to be on time for the appointments, if you or I need to cancel notification will be
sent as soon as possible. If you are late for an appointment the session will still finish at the original appointed time.
If I detect that you are using or under the influence of drugs or alcohol I will refuse to go ahead with the session, as you are
have turned up for the session under the influence of alcohol or drugs I will have the right to charge you for the session.
If you need to take a break of more than two weeks I will need to be informed and your counselling will be suspended until
you are ready to resume.
Therapists are not allowed to have a relationship with you away from the therapy sessions, it is not advised to have personal
communications via email text or online chat that is not part of the therapy process.
We are not allowed to enter into any kind of financial partnerships or personal relationships/friendships.
I cannot give financial or legal advice and medical health or mental health diagnosis. These boundaries are important for
you, they are there to protect you're well being.
You understand that any information will only be used in conjunction with the services of this counselling / hypnotherapy
and Psychotherapy Service and will not be given to any other person or organisation without written consent from you.
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