Individual Counseling: What To Expect In Your First Session

If individual counseling sessions are new to you, you may have a lot of concerns and questions about what to expect.

If individual counseling sessions are new to you, you may have a lot of concerns and questions about what to expect. Different therapists do first sessions in a wide variety of ways, but there are a few things that are pretty standard, and quite similar to visits establishing other types of health care.

Before you are seen at your new therapist’s office, either in person or telehealth, for individual counseling, you will need to fill out new patient paperwork. Now that we have options of in person or telehealth, it is important to know what allows you to feel safe enough to engage in therapy. If you are not comfortable with visiting an office, teletherapy may be an ideal option.

In the first few minutes of your session, you and your therapist will probably introduce yourselves and get to know each other a bit. Generally, individual counseling works best when you are able to connect with your therapist on a personal level. Just like when you are making a new friend, you can start with easy conversations. It isn’t necessary to dive straight into your core issues as learning ways to feel safe and comfortable is your first priority.

At some point during your first visit, your therapist will ask what brought you to individual counseling. They will need to know what goals you hope to accomplish or issues you wish to address in therapy. They will probably ask a series of questions about your mental health history as well as that of your family. If there are specific things that you have tried that have or have not helped you in the past, that is important to share. Even today, a common myth is that counseling is only utilized for severe mental health issues. Just like our physical health, the sooner we address the issue the less it becomes a part of our body and brain. Mental health is a foundation for all of us! If we aren’t physically or mentally healthy it makes it difficult to get through our day.

Probably toward the end of your first visit, the therapist will ask if you have any questions for them. You may come up with some while you are getting to know one another, but it is a good idea to plan ahead. If you are worried about your treatment for any reason, you should ask whatever questions you need to in order to ease your mind. 

After your initial visit, check in with your feelings about it. Remember that you are unlikely to feel significantly better after one visit. The important question is “How would I feel about working with this therapist long term?” A therapist can’t help you unless you can open up to them, so working with the therapist on how you can open up is an important priority. It is also important that both of you will discuss reasonable expectations. It is normal to want the quick fix yet working for long term change requires a commitment to self and the process.

At Take Charge, Inc. in Overland Park, KS, Terri Clinton Dichiser helps “let go” of old patterns and triggers so you can focus on living life to the fullest. Her approach helps you address concerns and hurdles in a new and constructive way. 

For more information about individual counseling in Johnson County, KS, call Take Charge, Inc. at (913) 239-8255. To schedule an appointment, click here.


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