What To Expect

 

Q: What should I expect during my first session in counseling?

A: During your first session, you will be greeted by your counselor and asked to complete some intake paperwork. During this time, payment for services will be rendered. During the initial intake process, you will gain an understanding of the expectations for both you and your therapist. Confidentiality will be discussed and any concerns you have regarding the process of therapy will be explored. It is expected that your presenting issue will be discussed during your first visit. It is important to be candid with your counselor as maximum benefit can only be achieved by your willingness to engage in the process. Your session will last for a “clinical hour” which means 50 minutes of therapy. At the conclusion of your session, you and your therapist will schedule your next appointment.

Q: If I need therapy, does that mean I’m “crazy?”

A: If this is your first counseling experience, it is perfectly natural to feel some apprehension. Does seeking therapy mean you’re “crazy?” Hardly! On the contrary, seeking guidance when you’re struggling with a life issue is a courageous act of self-care. There are many myths and stereotypes that surround the process of therapy; most of them reflect media misrepresentations and decades of unnecessary social stigma (think Sigmund Freud and the infamous sofa). A good therapist will do more than respond with a simple, “Uh huh...” and “Tell, me, what do you think?” The process of therapy is a collaborative adventure that encapsulates empathy, challenge, insights, and personal growth. Counseling needs to feel safe; but it’s not always comfortable. What’s most important is that YOU feel a connection to your therapist. Unlike a shirt, “one size does not fit all!”