Post # 1
Hi bees. My mental health has been all over the place lately so I finally decided to see a counselor this week. To be honest, I’m quite nervous about it.
What should I expect from the first session? Would the counselor think my problems/issues are too “minor”, that I don’t actually need any help? There are times when I’m still going back and forth, wondering if perhaps I don’t need to go, because my problems are common problems, problems that many people may have. But I’m also worried if I don’t fix my mental health now, I will explode one day.
Post # 2
I’ve done therapy off and on over the years. From what I remember the first session was just general getting to know you, what problems are you having, basic kind of stuff.
I’ve never had any major traumatic event happen in my life no, no mental illness to deal with, nothing anyone would ever consider a “big deal” but I’ve never had a counselor say or make me feel like I’m wasting thier times with my minor issues. It’s easier to get it figured out when it’s small than to wait until it becomes a major issues.
There’s never anything wrong with asking for a little help.
Post # 3
It can depend on the therapist. The ones I’ve seen spend the first session getting to know you, ask about what brings you here, questions about your family and childhood, your relationship, your job. They realize not everybody opens up right away. The therapeutic relationship builds slowly.
If you have major trauma, that might take awhile to discuss.
Post # 4
Good for you for recognizing that you need help. Your counselor won’t think your problems are minor; he or she is there to listen and be nonjudgmental. If it’s something that’s bothering you, then that’s a valid reason to seek help.
Disclaimer: Professional counselor here.
Post # 5
I’m a resident in counseling (just graduated with my Masters in September, after a year of practicum/internship experience; now working towards licensure as a professional counselor). It’s okay to be nervous! Just remember that except for a few exceptions like threats to harm self or others, what goes on in session stays in session (confidentiality is super important!). For my clients, the first session is me asking a lot of questions to get to know the client and see what’s going on, to figure out what goals the client wants to work on so we can come up with a game plan on moving forward. Some therapists go straight into therapeutic work. As others have said, the process can take time because some people have to feel comfortable to open up about their deepest stuff, and that won’t necessarily happen the first session!
In answer to your fears that it’s “minor” issues – I want to encourage you and just say that if you feel your stuff is affecting you enough that you’re wanting to seek help, it’s okay to seek help! You don’t need to have a major condition like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to benefit from therapy. And it’s not something that you have to do forever and ever. Go to the first session, if you feel you and the therapist are a good fit and therapy can really help, keep going. Maybe you only need to go for, like, 10 sessions, and you’re good. Your therapist may be able to give you some tools to help you manage your mental health, and so if a situation like this arises again, you can do it on your own (though it’s also totally okay to go back to therapy if needed too!).
Final thoughts: be open and honest, but go at the pace you’re most comfortable with. If they’re a good therapist, they won’t push you to share more than you’re ready to that first session. Good luck, bee!
Post # 6
mus1ca1xo : Your counselor is human too. My counselor recently confided in me that they too struggle with anxiety. I love my counselor, they have helped me so much. I hope you find a closeness and bond with your counselor, too.