What To Expect During Your First Mental Health Counseling Session

Psychotherapy session, woman talking to his psychologist in the studio


When it comes to maintaining or improving your health and well-being, it's important that you also carefully consider the crucial role of mental health. Although many people are still unaware of the link between mental health and a person’s overall wellness, the impact of mental health issues on daily life is undeniable. Stress, anxiety, and depression, which are some of the most common types of mental health problems, may result in chronic diseases if neglected. 

To prevent the risks of such scenarios, the best thing you can do is to seek professional help from reliable service providers and registered psychologists. For instance, if you’re living in Pocatello, Idaho, you can contact your trusted local counselor to help you with your concern.

Engaging In Mental Health Counseling

Mental health is as important as your physical health and should be given sufficient attention, especially when you feel unwell. If you’ve been experiencing early signs of mental health problems, you must seek professional help immediately to prevent the risk of worsening your condition. Fortunately, there are various alternatives you can utilize to better handle your mental health issues.  

Specifically, seeking the help of licensed and well-skilled counselors and psychiatrists can create a huge difference in your journey to recovery. These people can help you uncover the factors that disrupted your mental health condition and formulate appropriate measures to resolve them.    

If you’re finally considering the idea of seeking medical help for your mental health issues, here are some things that will help you prepare yourself for your first counseling session: 

1. Your Counselor Will Ask Pertinent Questions

When it comes to preparing for your initial counseling session, one of the most common things that you must expect is the set of questions your psychiatrist or counselor will ask. In particular, your counselor will ask for pertinent information about you, such as your name, age, current medical condition, and a history of mental health disorders in your family. 

They may also ask for your previous experiences, phobias, interests, and background history to better know the potential factors that contributed to your condition. Besides that, you can also expect your psychiatrist to ask about your expectations for the session and your preferred outcome. 

You might also be given a series of psychological tests and assessments to further determine your condition, so you must also watch out for these.  

2.Your Counselor Will Prioritize Your Opinion

If you’re thinking about how your counseling session is going to progress, you must know that it’ll mainly depend on your preferences. Usually, most people think that counselors will have the final say on how things will be done. However, you must know that your counseling session will be largely determined by you. Your counselor is mainly there to help you let out your concealed emotions and recognize the things that triggered your situation.  

Furthermore, you must also know that your recovery won’t depend on your counselor. They’ll help you identify the factors that affect your mental health, introduce you to proper interventions and measures to help you recover, and help you throughout the process. However, they won’t be able to control the period of your recovery without your cooperation. 

Simply said, your drive to recuperate and return to the normal life you once had will still be the major component that dictates the speed of the healing process.

Male College Student Meeting With Campus Counselor Discussing Mental Health Issues

3.Your Counselor Will Ask About Your Experiences

Although this has been stated in the first part of this article, it’s important to learn more about how your past experiences can create a huge impact on your personality and how they can contribute to the occurrence of mental health disorders. 

Have you ever watched a TV series that portray protagonists or antagonists with multiple personality disorders or someone who has bipolar disorder? If so, what can you say about their behavior? The way they interact with other people or how they deal with their condition? Sometimes, you can see that those characters have little to no knowledge about their situation. Some of them even think that certain bizarre behaviors are already a part of their personality. 

In that aspect, your counselor will most likely ask for your childhood experiences or any negative incidents that you can remember. That’s because mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, behavioral and emotional conditions, depression, bipolar affective disorder, paranoia, dissociative identity disorders, and other types of chronic mental health situations, may be the result of traumatic experiences during childhood.  

They can also utilize numerous forms of therapy to treat your condition, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), client-centered therapy (person-centered therapy), Gestalt therapy, existential therapy, and psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapy.  

4. Your Therapy Sessions Will Take Time

Your journey to recovery won’t happen overnight. It’ll usually take weeks, months, or even years for severe cases, but certainly not within after days of treatment. You may think that after consulting your counselor, you’ll immediately get back to your usual self and you can stop your visits. However, you must know that counseling sessions don’t work that way. 

You’ll need to attend your sessions regularly and willingly cooperate with your counselor to maximize favorable results in the end. Aside from the help of your counselor, practicing honesty is also the key to recovery. 

Concealing, denying, or lying about your condition won’t do you any good and may even worsen your situation. That’s why it’s better if you’ll answer your counselor’s questions as honestly as possible. This way, you’ll be one step closer to your recovery.  

Final Thoughts

Managing your mental health issues won’t be easy. You may think that stress or emotional states won’t affect your overall health, but symptoms of mental health disorders can also manifest physically. To efficiently prevent such risks, it would be better if you’ll seek professional help as early as possible.

Once you take that courageous help towards a healthier mind and body, you should also know how you can properly prepare for your first counseling session. Knowing what to expect will help you avoid feeling confused and clueless about what might happen in your sessions and how you can participate well.

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