At Anglicare, we know that it takes great courage to ask for help. Taking the next step to attend counselling sessions can be just as daunting!
The idea of counselling can be scary, especially if it’s something that you’ve never done before. That’s why we sat down with one of our NDIS counsellors, Melinda, to ask her what you should expect from your NDIS counselling journey.
Q: Is it normal to feel nervous before my first NDIS counselling session?
It’s completely natural to feel nervous before your first session. It can be daunting to talk to a stranger, especially when you’re feeling vulnerable. Many people feel a bit nervous, but often after the first session clients will say, "Oh, that was way easier than I thought!"
It’s helpful to remember that your NDIS counsellor is there to support you - they’ve got your back! Their job is to make you feel comfortable and safe, and to support you with your goals and wellbeing. This starts as soon as you walk through the door.
Q: What will happen in my first NDIS counselling session?
Firstly, your NDIS counsellor will introduce themselves. They will know a little bit about you through your NDIS plan, but they will want to get to hear your story in your own words.
It’s like meeting any new person. You might talk about what daily life looks like for you, what you enjoy or don’t enjoy, and what you’re interested in.
After a bit of friendly chat, your NDIS counsellor will talk you through what counselling involves. They will let you know it’s a safe and confidential space. They’ll assure you that when you come into a session, you will always be heard and valued.
Your NDIS counsellor is there to provide support in ways that are meaningful to you. They are committed to helping you achieve your goals and improve your wellbeing. They’ll also help you identify and clarify those goals, so that you can start working together to achieve them.
Q: How is NDIS counselling likely to help me?
It’s a safe space. When you’re living with mental illness, the world doesn’t always feel like a safe place. NDIS counselling provides a dedicated space to talk about the highs and lows of life with someone who will listen without judgement, and support you towards improved wellbeing.
Your confidence will grow as you learn more about yourself. Many people find that NDIS counselling gives them insight into their own thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This is incredibly empowering! Mental illness is often disorientating, but counselling can help us understand more about our own experience. Through talking with your NDIS counsellor, you might identify some things that are impacting your thoughts, feelings and behaviours in a negative way, and together, you will develop strategies to manage those challenges.
You’ll develop strategies tailor made for your situation. People often think counselling is all about talking, but it’s also about action. Together with your NDIS counsellor, you will develop a toolbox of strategies to help you manage challenging or triggering situations. As well as general capacity building with the goal of improving daily life.
Find out more about how NDIS counselling can help you, in 6 reasons to make counselling a part of your NDIS plan.
Q: How often should I see my NDIS counsellor?
This can depend on your NDIS funding, but otherwise, it’s up to you! In the first session, you’ll have a chance to say how often you would like to see your NDIS counsellor. For example, some clients like a fortnightly meeting. Others just like to know their counsellor is there when they need some extra support.
Often, counselling is about empowering clients with the skills they need to achieve their goals, independently. But for many people, NDIS counselling is a vital part of their long-term health plan.
A beautiful thing about counselling through the NDIS is that it enables long-term counselling, often with the same counsellor. This means clients can develop deep trust and connection with their NDIS counsellor. They don’t have to retell their story. They can look back and see all the progress they have made and celebrate those wins with the counsellor who is on that journey with them.
Q: I’ve had a bad experience with counselling before. What tips can you give me?
First off, that’s ok! If you don’t feel comfortable, it’s great to be honest about that. You can say, “Hey, I’m not really a fan of counselling. I have had a bad experience in the past.”
Your NDIS counsellor is there to support you, so knowing what has or hasn’t worked is going to help them do their job. And their job is all about whatever works for you!
Sometimes you might even try someone and think they’re not a good fit. If that is the case, don’t be afraid to find someone else. Counsellors are all for that! They want you to have the best experience possible, and that includes the right environment with the right person for you.
As a trusted NDIS provider, Anglicare is here to support you each step of the way. And while the unknown can be intimidating, we promise your first NDIS counselling session won’t be.
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with our expert team today!