When you are making life changes, you may feel that it is best to prepare for them. If you are seeking help from a therapist, like at Lotus Wellness Center, you understandably may not know quite what to expect and you may not be sure how to act in front of a counselor. The truth is, your counselor wants you to act authentically. If you sign up for counseling but aren’t sure if you need it, be honest about that. If you have been carrying a heavy burden for a long time, be honest about that. Understand that your counselor is not expecting you to open up about all of your problems, fears, goals, and dreams in your first appointment (though that can always help). If you are the type of person who prefers to prepare, read more below!
Common Things to Expect in Your First Counseling Session
- Building a relationship. You may be wondering how you even start your conversation. Before going deep into what the problem is, you may want to build more of a rapport with your counselor. It is extremely important that you feel comfortable and safe enough to talk with them about anything you want to. Start off as slow as you need to.
- Discussing what you are currently going through. Starting the conversation may feel awkward. Should you start spouting off what you think the problem is immediately? If that is how your brain works, that could be right for you. On the other hand, you may prefer that your counselor asks you questions that build-up to this. They may want to ask you about your family situation, any trauma you have experienced, and other relationships in your life.
- Discussing what symptoms you are currently feeling. You may have opened up about why you are seeking help from a counselor, but your symptoms could be more far-reaching than you knew. Often, people’s anxieties and hurt creep into many aspects of their lives, not just their work-life or their personal life. Be prepared to discuss where you think you have seen your problems lead and how it has affected you.
- Work on being open. Remember, you are not at a counseling session to stare at the counselor or listen to them talk. Work on opening up to your counselor about problems in your life and don’t be afraid to start off slow. Your counselor wants to help you but can’t do that if you don’t put the effort into it.