Starting therapy sessions with a behavioral health professional for the first time can make some people feel anxious. In order to calm these concerns, here is some advice to help you get the most out of your professional counseling sessions.
Taking the first step and seeking help is one of the most difficult steps. This may include helping a loved one obtain professional psychiatric services. As a reminder, individuals should seek professional help if for more than two weeks they have experienced:
- Excessive sleeping or Insomnia.
- Not feeling good about themselves.
- A general feeling that things are wrong.
- Have rapid changes in body weight.
- Excessive difficulties at work or school.
Sharing personal information with a stranger is sometimes stressful. Sharing your thoughts makes a person feel vulnerable. People should think of therapy as a conversation and not a cross-examination. With this in mind, here are four tips for getting the most out of your counseling sessions.
4 General Tips for Better Counseling Sessions:
 Open and Honest:
Ideally, you should select a mental health practitioner that makes you feel comfortable. The ability to feel comfortable also makes it easier to find your safe zone. This will make it easier to emotionally open up and share your thoughts and feelings with the therapists.
The more honest you are with your therapist, the more success you will likely experience. But, to achieve honest communication; the people involved in the conversation need to feel comfortable with each other. You should remember that the long-term goal is to get better. But, in order to do this, you need to feel comfortable with your counselor.
 Ask Questions:
Sometimes people can feel shy or intimidated around a healthcare professional. However, individuals should remember that the mental health clinician is there to help. People should feel free to ask candid questions. The questions should be polite and professional, but they should address any issues surrounding the upcoming counseling session.
As a prospective patient, you have every right to ask questions like “what can I expect from my first counseling session” or “what is your counseling style?” It is helpful to know what to expect for their first or upcoming counseling sessions. Asking questions will also likely make you feel more at ease (refer to tip #1).
 Create Some Basic Notes:
During a therapy session, you may find yourself at a loss for words. Perhaps you had planned to talk about a topic, but now it seems to have slipped your mind. This is a natural response and should not worry you.
Instead try creating and writing down some basic notes that you can take to your next therapy session. These notes do not have to be elaborate, even a few general bullet points will help act as a reminder in case you forget. Your notes could even serve as a general starting point for your session.
 Get Comfortable:
In order to focus on good mental health, you should not let minor things get in the way. One of these minor things is the task of having to focus on personal comfort. You should try to make yourself as comfortable as possible. This means trying to wear clothing that makes you feel confident and relaxed.
If you are feeling anxious, you do not want your clothing choices to make you feel more anxious. You may also want to adjust the environment of the therapy session. This does not mean that you should make unreasonable demands. But feel free to adjust your immediate surroundings (pillows, chair placement, body posture, etc.) in order to maximize your comfort level.
The goal of counseling is for you to get and feel better. We all will have to confront mental health challenges in life. These challenges can include depression, anxiety, addiction, etc. The goal is to recovery and not let these struggles define your life.
Individuals do not have to experience a full psychological breakdown in order to receive behavioral health treatments. A skilled counselor can help you process and understand a wide range of mental health concerns. One of the most difficult steps is simply starting the process of seeking help.
About our Center:
Emerald Psychiatry & TMS Center delivers experienced and caring behavioral health services in Dublin, Ohio. For more information about their services and treatment options, email or call them. Their main office number is (614) 580-6917.
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Contributor: ABCS RCM