How To Know When You Need Counseling – After weeks or even months of contemplation, you finally decide to start therapy. Congratulations! This is definitely a step in the right direction. You may have been struggling with the following questions:
Do I really need professional help? Is my problem big enough? Is my question too complex? Do I need to take medication? What if there is no help?
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If this is your first time in counseling, you may feel excited, intimidated, and anxious before you begin your first session. Knowing what to expect will help you relax and make the most of your treatment session. Here are 10 things to remember before your first consultation:
Things You Must Know Before Your First Counselling Session — My Mind Oasis
Most counselors and therapists have their own website or profile on an online directory (such as ACT or Therapie in Berlin). Reading this article will help you understand their areas of expertise (e.g. bereavement, depression, substance abuse, relationships, eating disorders, trauma). It is also helpful to understand the therapist’s approach and training (such as person-centered or cognitive behavioral or psychodynamic therapy), licensure and membership in professional bodies. Look for someone who is transparent about their qualifications and affiliations.
All information you share during your consultation, including any forms you may fill out, is strictly confidential. Your advisor will explain the limitations of confidentiality to you during your initial consultation. These restrictions are to ensure your safety if any concerns arise about your safety, particularly if suicidal thoughts are present. Counselors will not reveal your identity or discuss your personal information without your permission.
Counselors are trained to make observations based on your narrative and behavior, but to get the most out of your session, be honest about your thoughts and feelings. The more open you are, the more value you’ll find in the process. Nothing is “best left unsaid” when it comes to therapy!
Sometimes, talking about your feelings, past experiences, relationships, etc. involves stepping outside of your comfort zone and may cause some discomfort or anxiety. Often, discussing these uncomfortable feelings with a therapist can help move on. However, you don’t have to talk about anything that feels overwhelming or unprepared to delve into.
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Your specific goals for seeking treatment may vary, but the larger end goal is to be able to resolve your issues with a qualified professional in a safe, non-judgmental environment. If you feel uncomfortable or unable to connect with a specific therapist, don’t give up on the process. Try talking to your counselor about your concerns, and if you still feel the same, don’t hesitate to find a new counselor!
Don’t hesitate to ask questions during the meeting. You don’t have to censor yourself or worry about your counselor’s opinion. Please do not hesitate to express your concerns. You can talk about anything without worrying about how it sounds or what the counselor will think of you! Stay curious, stay curious.
The therapeutic relationship between client and counselor is based on mutual trust and openness. If something doesn’t seem right for you, tell your counselor. If you need more help with something or if a specific technique is helpful, tell your therapist.
Clients looking for an immediate solution to a problem often leave counseling prematurely before any real change occurs. To avoid this disappointment, remember that lasting change is a process that may take more time than you initially expect. This doesn’t mean you have to go through years of therapy, but it’s not a quick fix either!
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Regardless of their approach, counselors and psychologists cannot prescribe any medications. If you are seeking pharmacological intervention, you may want to consult a doctor such as your general practitioner or psychiatrist.
Therapy is a place to eliminate unhelpful behaviors and learn new ones. Use the time between sessions to practice new behaviors. You may also find it useful to keep a journal to record your thoughts and track your progress. This will help you prepare for your consultation and make the most of your consultation time.
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