First Counselling Session- Making The Most of It

It is completely normal to feel anxious before attending your first counselling session. With the right tips and preparation, you can make the most of it and ensure that it is a positive and productive experience. Whether you are seeking counselling for personal growth or to work through trauma, there are some key things to keep in mind as you embark on your counselling journey. In this blog post, we will discuss tips to help you get the most out of your first counselling session.

The first session is about getting to know each other better and developing comfort with the counsellor.  After introducing yourself, your counsellor will likely want to talk about your reasons for seeking counselling, as well as any particular goals or outcomes you would like to achieve from working together. This might include short-term and long-term goals, such as managing stress, healing from painful experiences, etc. Your counsellor will also want to understand your personal history, including any trauma or adverse experiences that have been influential in your life, so that they can best help You meet your goals. If it has not happened before your first session, informed consent forms will be signed after ensuring that you understand what therapy entails, including confidentiality.

How can you prepare for the first session?

If this is the first time You are seeking counselling, it might be a good idea to take some time before the session and jot down some of your “whys” for seeking help. Sit comfortably in the chair, play music, have a cup of tea. Let your mind wander and go into stillness. Take deep breaths to relax and clear your head before the session begins. Visualize what your goal will look like when you are done with the therapy process; this helps put things into perspective for you and allows for your therapist to know what you’re looking for out of the process. When your therapist arrives, ask questions that come up so that you can get a better understanding on how they work and how you will work together throughout the entire process. For example, you could ask about their experience working with clients who have experienced similar situations and what strategies they find to be helpful for those individuals. Also feel free to bring any notes  with you that you feel may help provide background information that could make understanding your particular circumstances easier. These items may include medical records, medical history or any type of written communication regarding your story that would provide an accurate background to begin with.

How do you know therapy is working?

With clear established goals on the way to wellness , there is hope in therapy for those suffering from distress and trauma.

For example, when it comes to trauma, it can manifest itself in different ways such as intrusive thoughts or nightmares, avoidance, negative self-perception, or even physical symptoms such as chest pains or headaches. It’s important to communicate these experiences during the initial counselling session so your therapist can properly assess your needs and develop an individualized treatment plan to help you work through your trauma. Your therapist can then provide strategies such as mindfulness or grounding techniques to assist you in managing intense emotions or sensations related to the trauma. Additionally, other methods such as cognitive restructuring or EMDR might be used to assist in decreasing the impact that traumatic memories have on your life. Ultimately, through mutual understanding, collaboration, and goal setting between you and your therapist, therapy can help you process and manage painful experiences so you can move forward in life more confidently.