What happens at my first counselling session?
The first counselling session is about getting to know you and the issues you may be facing. This also includes an additional 20-30 minutes at the beginning where I will run through what the sessions will entail, limits to confidentiality, and issues around cancellations and payments. This also gives me a chance to let you know the approaches I may use, their benefits and limitations, and find out what your goals are for your sessions. You will then be able to ask me any questions you may have regarding your sessions or the therapy process.
Once these have been talked about and agreed upon, the 60 minute session will begin.
Are my sessions confidential?
The privacy of all communication between you and your counsellor is protected by law. Your counsellor will ask your permission to take notes throughout the session. These notes will be used to form professional records for reference for the counsellor.
All personal information gathered by the counsellor during the provision of the counselling service will remain confidential and secure except where:
- A client is threatening serious bodily harm to another, themselves or under the threat of being seriously harmed.
- Under a legally binding court order the counsellor is requested to disclose your case notes, give a testimony or deposition.
- The counsellor is seeking professional advice from a mental health professional supervisor or discussing cases in the counsellor’s supervision sessions (names are not usually revealed in these cases).
Do I need a Mental Health Care Plan or diagnosis to come to AHRLEE Counselling?
No, AHRLEE Counselling is a non-pathologizing counselling service that works with you to overcome or alleviate the symptoms/issues you are experiencing. Whilst you may choose to visit AHRLEE Counselling to help manage your mental health diagnosis, you may also choose to attend counselling for non-mental health concerns such as seeking help for a particular life issue or 'stuck-point', or to simply have someone objective and non-judgemental to listen to you.
How often should I come to counselling?
The frequency and duration of your counselling will be discussed during your first session. In essence, this will ultimately be decided by you and what may be of most benefit to you. It is important to note that some issues may need more time than others due to their complexity. For most issues, regular sessions (i.e. fornightly or monthly) will tend to be of more benefit than sporadic sessions.
What payment methods do you accept?
Payments for face-to-face sessions can be made at the time of booking through the booking portal on the website. If you need to pay on the day, this can be done via cash/eftpos/credit or debit before your session.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
In most cases you will be able to book and attend an appointment within 2 weeks.
What are AHRLEE Counselling's opening hours?
Appointments can be made Thursdays between 8am and 12pm, Fridays between 10am and 6pm, and Saturdays between 1.30 pm and 4.00 pm.
How can counselling help me?
Sometimes, just talking to an objective, trained professional can help in itself. I am trained to work with you to clarify problems, explore options and assist you in working towards your goals. I can also help you discover options you had never considered, alternative ways of working through problems or simply provide a 'sounding board' for you. If you have trouble managing symptoms of issues such as depression or anxiety, I can also help you find ways of effectively negotiating this. Counselling is also not solely focused on negative aspects, but also considers your strengths and resources to bring about positive change in your life.
What are your qualifications and are you registered?
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Counselling obtained from Edith Cowan University which has allowed me to gain registration with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). All counsellors who are registered with either the ACA or PACFA can be verified through the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP).