According to the National Institute of Health, almost half (44.8%) of the adults in the US suffering from AMI (any mental illness) have received counseling, therapy, or medication for their concerns in 2019.
People go to counseling most often when feeling misunderstood, isolated, having to deal with obstacles that are hard to overcome, self-doubting themselves, and, oftentimes help is not sought until after a long time of not taking action and noticing an increase in symptoms.
Preparing for Your Counseling Session
Preparing for counseling can be intimidating or make you feel insecure, instead shift the focus on being excited to start working on your problems with the help of a specialist. Here is what you should do before going to counseling, to secure a good start for your sessions.
Choose your counselor/therapist carefully
Having an authentic relationship with your therapist or counselor is important for the success of your sessions. Being able to trust your counselor, respect them, and having the same kind of communication style helps build a strong connection which is the core of the healing relationship you are supposed to find. If you feel that the counselor you have is not connecting with you enough, let them know what you would change, or ask that they help you find a better fit. Counselors understand the importance of finding you someone you’re most comfortable with.
Think about what you want to accomplish
When you begin counseling, the counselor will want to work with you to identify the focus of your sessions and set goals, whether it’s about your personal, professional life, or another aspect. Knowing what you want to achieve from counseling is one of the most important steps in its success.
Schedule your sessions at times when you can give them full attention
Often, people try to fit therapy in a tight schedule or don’t give it the importance it should have. If you do choose counseling or therapy, do it whole-heartedly and with the belief that it could be a helpful process. If you are not convinced, give yourself time to rethink your decision or go back to searching for a counselor who fits you.
During Your Session
Once you have started your counseling or therapy sessions, it’s time to put an effort into it, and work with your counselor or therapist when dealing with obstacles and hard patches. Here is what we highly recommend to our patients:
Have an open mind
In many cases, the biggest enemy we have is our own mind. Being aware of our issues is one of the first steps in getting help, but if we focus too much on the trees instead of the forest, we can become trapped in our own fear.
Don’t hold back
As we said before, building a connection with your counselor is extremely important for the success of your sessions. In order to let them help you with all the aspects that seem to sabotage the particular goal you have, you will have to allow them to see your emotions and to know what you think. Don’t hold back, as this can only delay the good results you can achieve with counseling.
Keep the focus on yourself
Many people come to counseling or therapy because of being hurt by situations in their relationships or having their expectations broken by others, whether it was for personal or professional reasons. When being in counseling, it’s important to keep the focus on yourself instead of finding fault in others. While an empathic counselor knows when to allow to blow some steam, they will help you more by shifting the interest on your own person and what you can control.
Continue to work outside your session
If your work with yourself doesn’t take place outside of the counseling sessions, you might not get the great improvements counseling can help you achieve. Take your time in between the sessions to understand your progress, set your next goals and put your efforts into the areas you have identified as triggers, weaknesses or opportunities.
If you’re ready to take the next step, our team of counselors and therapists is here! Give us a call or schedule an appointment online.