TAP TO CALL
1300 139 703 24 hours
Once you decide you want to talk to someone you will need to call and book an appointment. Counselling with VCSS is free of charge and you normally won’t have to wait long before seeing a counsellor. When you call our 1300 139 703 number to make your appointment you will be asked some basic information to assist the counsellor, but you will not need to discuss the detail of why you are coming for counselling. If you have a preference, you can request a female or male counsellor and we’ll do our best to meet this need. We can offer face to face counselling, telephone counselling, or web based counselling.
Going and talking to a counsellor for the first time can be a little daunting, but try not to worry – our counsellors are professionally trained and will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable. You might be asked questions about:
Everything you say in counselling will be confidential unless you tell them that you are thinking of hurting yourself or someone else, in which case the counsellor might have to assist you in notifying the relevant authorities. Your counsellor will discuss this duty of care with you at your first session. If you are unsure of anything to do with this please ask your counsellor to explain in more detail.
After your first session, your counsellor will probably have a talk with you about what you would like to do from here. They may suggest that you come back and see them regularly. However, ultimately this decision is up to you.
Acknowledging you might be struggling to cope and asking for help can be difficult and scary. As daunting as this may be, it’s really important to seek help if things aren’t going very well for you. A counsellor can listen to what’s troubling you and can work with you to find solutions to the problem.
Talking with a VCSS counsellor can leave you feeling listened to, less alone, and like a load has been taken off your shoulders. Your world may seem as though it’s been turned upside down as a result of being a victim of crime and the counselling process can help you recover from the negative feelings you may be experiencing. Talking with a counsellor can help you and your family members find a better way of coping with what has happened and help you.
Before your first visit to a counsellor or when thinking about seeing a counsellor for the first time you might be experiencing a range of emotions, including feeling:
Worried or scared
What happens in counselling? How will you tell the counsellor about my problem? What if the counsellor thinks your problem isn’t really important enough and you think you’re wasting their time?
You feel embarrassed talking to someone about your problem and worry what they might think of you.
Experiencing any of these feelings is very common and it’s important to realize that counsellors are used to dealing with all sorts of issues with their clients and that no problem is too big or small. Your problem is important to you and that’s all that matters. If your issue is affecting your day to day routine and is troubling you, this is reason enough to talk to someone like a counsellor.
The following information might be useful in helping you prepare yourself before visiting the counsellor for the first time.
Make a note of things beforehand
You might want to take in some things you have written down that you want to talk about so you make sure you remember the important things.
If you don’t understand anything about the counselling process or you are unsure in any way, just ask your counsellor to explain – that’s what they’re there for.
Try to have an open mind
Your counsellor is there to help you and she or he won’t judge you or advise you to do anything you are not comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to give it a go – if you are not satisfied you can always ask to see someone different.
Your counsellor might take notes during your session to help with factual information or to help remember things that are important to you. You can always ask the counsellor to see what is being written if you have any concerns
Understand or ask about duty of care
Whilst everything discussed in counselling remains confidential, there are circumstances your counsellor may have to share information discussed. If the law requires the sharing of information or if your counsellor is genuinely concerned that you are at risk of harm or harming someone else (this is called duty of care) your counsellor will discuss options with you about how this information will be shared.
Try to be open and honest with your counsellor
Try to share as much as you can with your counsellor, even if this is difficult, as this will help her/him in helping you. It’s not unusual to struggle with expressing your feelings or thoughts to a counsellor, but if this happens you might say something like ‘I’m thinking/feeling this but I’m not sure how to put it into words’.
Don’t be afraid to ask your counsellor questions or discuss with her/him anything that you are feeling uncomfortable about. Sometimes the “fit” of counsellor and client isn’t right and if this is the case, you can always ask to see someone else. The counsellor won’t be offended and will be happy to discuss alternative options with you.