What To Expect At Your First Counseling Session
Your Initial Session
Your initial counseling session will take approximately 60 minutes. It is a session designed to build the therapeutic relationship and gather information. It is also a time for you and I to determine if the therapeutic relationship will be a good fit.
At your first session, we will begin by reviewing the intake packet that you completed at home. I will then explain the rules of confidentiality and ask if you have any questions before formally starting the session. After all of your questions have been answered, then we will begin the intake process where I will ask you various questions about your upbringing, your background, your medical history, and your reasons for seeking counseling.
Towards the end of your session you will also be asked to state up to three specific long-term goals you want to accomplish in order to feel better. These goals are important as they will be used to measure progress over the course of your sessions. At the end of your session, we will discuss setting up your next appointment and you will pay for your session.
What Will Happen At Subsequent Sessions?
All subsequent sessions are 45-50 minutes. During each session we will discuss the issues that are important to you. These sessions are all about you, therefore, it is important to have a clear idea of what you want to talk about at each session. It is helpful to keep track of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and situations that occur over the course of the week and jot them down. This will help you remember important topics that you want to discuss.
You are the one that decides what to talk about at each session. You do not have to have serious issues to discuss at every session. There might be times that you want to talk about things that are going well in your life. Sometimes the sessions where you think you have nothing to talk about will end up being the most productive sessions.
How Frequently Will I Attend Sessions?
Your sessions will occur on weekly basis. Weekly sessions are important for developing the therapeutic relationship. The therapeutic relationship is vital for the sessions to be effective and for positive change to take place. Also, attending weekly sessions helps with keeping the flow of the sessions and in maintaining higher levels of motivation. Once you are feeling better and you are reaching and maintaining your goals, we can discuss reducing your sessions to every two weeks and gradually to once month until you no longer need to attend sessions.
What If I Want To Discontinue My Sessions?
It is always important to talk with me if you decide you no longer need or want services. Frequently the reasons for wanting to discontinue services are due to underlying therapeutic issues. If they are not addressed then they will continue to resurface with future therapists. I also want to make sure that if you need additional resources or referrals that we have a chance to discuss your options.