What to expect

The first session. 

If you haven’t attended counselling or psychotherapy before it might feel a little daunting making the first appointment. I think it is important to remember that part of a counsellor’s role is to meet you where you are and to work in ways, and at a pace, that feels right for you.

I tend to view the first session as a mutual assessment. It’s an opportunity for the client and counsellor to get a sense of each other and to see if a working alliance may be formed. Therapists all have their own unique personalities that are inseparable from the therapeutic relationship. Therefore, it’s really important to find a therapist that fits with you and can work in ways that suit your needs at that particular time. The first session is also time to clarify what you want from therapy and to begin moving toward it.

To some extent, everyone experiences moments of uncertainty during therapy. This may present early or in later sessions. The part of us that seeks change, the part that makes the first phone call, is generally at odds with the part that seeks predictability and comfort. It is important to acknowledge both parts. Having them within your awareness will reduce the chances of getting stuck or discouraged. Treat these moments as information, not the final word.

To me Psychotherapy is about creating a profound and unique alliance for exploring the challenges, struggles, and joy of life. It is also a unique opportunity to have the full attention and interest of another for an hour which, in our culture, is an extremely rare occurrence.



Paul has been consistently listed on Google as one of the three best rated relationship counsellors in Newcastle for the past 7 years.


Clinic address: Room 4, Level 1, 744 Hunter Street, Newcastle West NSW 2302 (Bank Corner building, opposite Muso’s Corner, on the corner of Bellevue Street above Bank Corner Espresso Cafe).

Transport: Parking is metered and timed in this area, please allow additional time to park as there are limited parking spots and also some roadworks. Various buses pass by this location, look up public transport information on https://transportnsw.info/routes#/ Marketown Shopping Centre (the Coles end off Parry Street) is a short 5 minute walk to the clinic and has 3 hours free parking.