“I have never gone to counseling before and am nervous to begin.”
Having many mixed feelings prior to your first counseling session is very common, and ok! For instance, you may be feeling a mixture of hopefulness, nervousness, or uneasiness. Especially if you have never gone to counseling before, these feelings are common when embarking on something you have not done before.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
To help reduce your nervousness about starting counseling, here is what to expect:
FORMS AND PAPERWORK:
First, it is common during a first counseling session for the therapist to spend a few minutes going over practice policies for the counseling process. By doing so, you can be familiarized with what to expect in terms of scheduling, fees, and confidentiality.
Second, every therapist may have their own unique style and format for counseling sessions. However, during the first counseling session, a few different things can be expected. Many therapists call this first counseling session an intake session. This is because it is an opportunity for you and the therapist to begin to get to know one another. Additionally, this session may include more explorative questions by the therapist than later sessions will. Your therapist will ask questions to gauge what sort of mental health symptoms of concern you have and what parts of your background may be impacting your current concerns. Finally, the therapist can use this information to develop a treatment plan. The treatment plan is designed to help you reach the goals you have for counseling.
Third, towards the end of the first counseling session, the therapist will likely summarize the information you have shared with them. Then, they will partner with you to create a few initial goals for counseling. During the remainder of future counseling sessions, the therapist will guide you in ways to help you reach those goals. Also, they will continue to assess progress towards each of the goals you have set. Progress towards goals is not always a linear process. Each client may experience periods where they feel like are more stagnated and other periods where they feel like are moving forward in reaching their goals. Your therapist is there to partner with you through these ups and downs and help you gain skills to be able to make progress in healing.
Do you have any other questions about what to expect when beginning counseling? Please submit any questions on my contact form below. Wellspring Women’s Counseling wants to make the process of starting counseling as smooth and easy as possible for you. This is why a free 30-minute consultation is offered prior to beginning the process of counseling.