Have you decided to seek counselling and are now wondering what is going to happen? Are you unsure of what to expect at this first visit? Here are some tips of what to expect at your first visit.
In your first session, the therapist typically will ask certain questions about you and your life. There will probably be a lot of questions, the more detail you can give the better. The detail will help form a treatment plan for you.
Why are you attending counselling? As your therapist, I need to know what is bringing you in. What is the primary problem you are seeking help for.
Events leading up to the problem. We want to understand where the problem came from, how did it start, who contributed to it, are there others involved.
Current Situation. What is happening right now for you? How is this impacting your life? We will also look at your living situation, work situation, and family of origin.
Symptoms. What are you currently feeling? We will look at your mood, eating, sleeping, work and family. Is the problem affecting other areas of your life?
History. We want to look at background information to see if there is a history that is perpetuating the problem. We will look at family history as well. Are there things that you are predisposed to?
It may seem like a therapist is prying into your life, and we don’t want you to feel like you are being interrogated. The first session is a get to know you session. It is important to be honest with your therapist about what is happening.
Ask questions, if you don’t understand why a question is being asked, ask, get clarification. We are here to help you.
The first session is just that, the first. Things aren’t going to be immediately solved. Therapy is a process, it could take 3 sessions or it could take 10 sessions. The most important thing is that you have found the strength to get help, and that is the first step.
Subsequent sessions, will start with a check in about how the week has been and review of any homework you may have been given. The following sessions will be about achieving a set goal and working out solutions to the problem you are having. There may be times where you are learning and practicing new skills or the therapist is asking more questions to get a better understanding of what you are experiencing.
Each session will lead you to a more productive and happy life.