If you’ve never been to counseling before, you may feel unsure about what to expect at your first appointment. It’s normal to feel a little nervous or apprehensive, but knowing what to expect can help ease some of these feelings. Here’s what you can expect at your first counseling visit:
- Intake and Assessment: Your first session will likely involve an intake and assessment process, which is where the therapist will gather information about you and your reason for seeking counseling. This may involve filling out standard forms or answering questions about your mental health history, current experiences, and any other relevant information.
- Building a Relationship: Your therapist will want to get to know you and build rapport with you during your first session. They may ask you questions about your life, your goals, and what you hope to achieve through therapy. They may also explain their approach to counseling and answer any questions you have about the process.
- Setting Goals: Together with your therapist, you’ll set goals for what you hope to achieve through counseling. This may involve things like identifying specific behaviors or thought patterns you want to change, or it may involve exploring deeper emotional issues and developing strategies for coping with them.
- Exploring Treatment Options: Your therapist may suggest various treatment options based on your needs and goals. This may include different types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, or mindfulness-based therapy. They may also recommend other forms of treatment or additional referrals, such as group therapy or a referral to have more detailed assessment with a licensed psychologist.
- Scheduling Future Appointments: At the end of your first session, you’ll typically schedule future appointments with your therapist. The frequency and duration of these appointments will depend on your needs and goals.
It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive about your first counseling visit, but remember that your therapist is there to support you and help you achieve your goals. By working together and building a relationship based on trust and mutual respect, you can journey towards positive changes in your life, supporting your mental and emotional wellbeing.