Prepare For Your First Mental Health Counseling
You’ve indeed taken a huge step towards better mental health by choosing to seek professional help and start counseling. Thus, your journey to self-improvement has just started.
Mental Health Counseling
But the first session can be nerve-wracking. Do know that feeling nervous or a little scared is pretty normal and understandable. This case usually happens to those who have never gone to professional therapy and counseling sessions before and who have concerns regarding their privacy, insurance plan scope, and others.
However, there are some simple steps that you can do to relieve or, if not lessen, the anxiety you’re feeling. Doing so will help you position yourself to have the best out of the whole counseling journey from start to finish – making the whole process insightful, worthwhile, and productive.
If you’re bound to have your first session soon or still thinking of getting therapy, this feature post will discuss six ways to help you prepare for your first mental health counseling.
1. Understand That Your Therapist Is There To Help You
First sessions are usually intimidating and that’s normal. But when you allow yourself to understand that your counselor’s goal is to help you be better and win in your mental health battle.
Trusted counseling clinics like Insight Northwest Counseling or one that’s near your area will never lay bare your weaknesses and frailties to make you feel bad about yourself or be anxious about the things you’ve done in the past. Instead, they’re there to act as your support system.
So, trusting your therapist is one of the best ways to help you maximize the process of mental healing and betterment.
2. Acknowledge Your First Step Of Progress
Deciding to take on a therapy journey is a big decision. Allowing yourself to open up and share your thoughts, experiences, and struggles with a complete stranger shows your bravery and desire to improve your mental health and be better.
That’s why it’s essential to give yourself a tap on the back and acknowledge your first step of progress. You should celebrate yourself for that.
3. Write Down Your Goals
Keep in mind that your first session is just one of the many sessions that you’ll have with your chosen therapist. It’s not a one-time meeting, yet rather a journey you’ll be taking with them.
It’s best that you write down your goals and the things you want to achieve after the whole process of your therapy. During your first session, let your therapist know these goals. This will allow them to get to know you better and have a grasp of the things you want to happen after that journey.
4. Prepare Questions And Everything That You Want To Ask Your Therapist
Keep in mind that the session is for you and about you. There are no right or wrong questions. Your therapist might not be able to answer everything but will surely guide you towards the answer. Therefore, you won’t have to be ashamed to ask the things that are lingering in your mind.
Before your first session, it’d be best to prepare sets of questions so you won’t forget them when you’re there. Never hesitate to ask even for the billing, insurance, and scheduling. Having a clear mind filled with no uncertainties is very beneficial.
5. Set Your Mind For Honesty And Total Openness
Being open and honest about what you feel and think can be daunting and tough, especially when you’re not used to doing such. Nonetheless, keep in mind that it’s what you need to maximize the counseling process fully.
You won’t have to express every inner feeling in the first session, but being transparent and fragile as you can be will help you get your way there in the sessions to come.
As mentioned above, understand and fully believe that your therapist is there to help you be better, and they’ll never disclose to anyone everything you’ll be saying.
6. Free Up Your Calendar Before And After Session
Your first therapy session and even all the following sessions require your full attention, mind, and emotion. Hence, it’s vital that you’re both mentally and emotionally prepared before your appointment date.
It’d best help if you block out your calendar before the scheduled date. This way, you’ll be able to internalize the process, clear your mind and collect your thoughts about it.
Having time for yourself after the session will also allow you to reflect on the things imparted to you during the session to make sure that you’ve understood and absorbed the information.
Indeed, mental health counseling isn’t an easy thing to do. You’ll normally face anxiety and nervousness before it happens. Yet keep in mind that the first steps are usually the hardest. And as long as you get past them, there’s now a bigger chance of you getting through it all.
That’s why it’s crucial that you know the multiple ways how to prepare yourself for your first mental health counseling. This way, you can be confident and reduce anxiety in your quest for optimum mental health and wellness.