What happens during the first session?
Seeking professional help is an act of courage, but many people feel uncomfortable on their first session. It is definitely not easy to be vulnerable in front of a stranger. This is why it is crucial that you find the right mental health professional to work with. If we already talked on the phone and you decided that my services are a good fit for you, this is what happens during the first session:
- We discuss the reasons why you are seeking help.
- I ask several questions about you and your family history to have a bigger picture of who you are and where you come from.
- You share with me what you hope to get out of counseling and we come up with potential goals to work toward.
My goal is to create a judgment-free and empathic environment where you feel safe to share, be yourself, and focus on what is important to you.
What are the benefits and risks of counseling?
Participating in counseling can result in a number of benefits. Just having a trained professional listening to you and you feeling understood can be quite healing and therapeutic. Counseling can give you new insights that help you move closer toward your personal goals. It can also enhance your understanding of self and help you become more accepting of yourself. Finally, through professional guidance and support you can overcome challenges much easier and learn new coping skills to deal with future challenges.
However, there can also be some risks associated with counseling. As you talk about unpleasant experiences and recall painful memories, there is a chance that you might feel overwhelmed and experience different strong emotions and discomfort, but that is temporary and part of the healing process.
How long does counseling last?
Everyone is different and there is no obligation to have a particular number of sessions. My average client will have between 12 to 24 sessions meeting once a week. Some counseling goals might take just a few sessions while others require longer to achieve. One important thing to keep in mind is that counseling is a collaborative work, and you must take an active role in it. Equally important is consistency. In order to see results, you have to commit to the process and that takes time. My main objective is that you rely more and more on the coping skills you learned and less on me. Lastly, you may stop counseling at any time.