We all know how important it is to take good care of our mental health and wellbeing. Bottling up your thoughts and feelings can do long-term damage, so if you’ve taken the first step and scheduled an appointment with a counselor, it’s only natural that you may feel nervous and anxious, especially as you might not know what to expect. Once you find a counselor who is a good match for you, getting the most out of your experience is vital, so here are a few things you may want to take on board.
Although it can be hard to let your feelings and emotions out, it’s best to be honest and open with your counselor. The counselor you see will work under strict confidentiality laws, meaning anything you discuss will be kept private and confidential (unless you pose a risk to yourself or those around you). Most therapists are not in the business to judge you, but instead, offer a helping hand to guide and coach you to think more positively.
Before you go for your first counseling session, it’s best to take some time to work out what sorts of goals and objectives you would like to work on, as well as what counseling can do for you. While there are different specialties that counselors will work in, your main goals can include areas such as emotion, behavior, career, health, or work. Establishing your goals will help keep you focused and give you a head start on what you would like to discuss in your sessions.
Keep a Journal
In many instances, a counselor may ask you a question that you don’t have the answer to. To get the most out of your experience, it’s wise to keep a counseling journal that you can use to store your counseling goals, reflections, thoughts, and ideas. Keeping a record of your relational and emotional goals will help increase your self-awareness, and make sure you stay motivated to carry on future sessions.
Prepare for Sessions
Before a counseling session, it’s best to get out your notebook or journal which can give you time to reflect on the things that you have been working on. Writing down any questions or queries that you may have or any topics that you would like to focus on can help you get the most out of your session.
Keep Stress Levels Down
If you suffer from high levels of anxiety, the thought of having to venture out and go to a counseling session can be daunting. Thankfully, there are services like the Kentucky Counseling Center who can visit your home to conduct a session, helping you to feel more relaxed and in control. You will usually find that they offer individual, family, group, and couples counseling, so it’s important that you know which sector of counseling is right for you. Opening up to a stranger can be overwhelming and intimidating, however, you need to remember that counselors are there to provide support and guidance, rather than prejudge and jump to conclusions. No matter your situation or circumstance, if you feel that counseling is right for you, make sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.