What to expect from the first counseling session
When you arrive for your first counseling appointment, someone will escort you to a computer kiosk in our waiting room and you will be asked to complete some initial intake forms (this usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes to complete). You will also read over and sign a Declaration Statement for your specific counselor. Once you have completed these forms, your counselor will review the paperwork and will then come to greet you.
Once in the counselor’s office, the counselor will verbally review the Declaration Statement, specifically their professional qualifications and the exceptions to confidentiality. The first session is a bit different from other counseling sessions. In the first session, the counselor will go through a questionnaire, obtaining information about the reason you are seeking counseling, and also some background information which helps us to have a “big picture” view of you, and the scope of the problem(s) that you are addressing. By the end of this questionnaire, you will discuss your goals for counseling or what you want to get out of the counseling experience.
What to expect from continued counseling sessions
Here is a list of things to keep in mind during the course of counseling:
a) People often have some anxiety about seeking counseling; however usually once they complete the first session and have met their counselor in person, they report feeling a sense of relief and are eager to continue the counseling process.
b) You won’t always immediately feel better. The length of counseling varies for each person and each problem. It can take as little as two or three sessions to feel relief or it may sometimes it takes several weeks or months to achieve your desired results.
c) Counseling sessions are usually tailored to the needs of the client, and the type of problem that is being addressed. There is usually more than one way to approach any situation/issue and counselors make attempts to match potential interventions to both the type of problem and the “style” of each client.