Tag Archives: counseling

What to Expect in Your First Counselling Session

In your first session, the counsellor typically will ask certain questions about you and your life. This information helps the counsellor make an initial assessment of your situation. Questions asked might include:

Why you sought counselling

A particular issue probably led you to seek counselling. The counsellor has to understand your surface problem(s) before they can get to the deeper issues.

Your personal history and current situation

The counsellor will ask you a series of questions about your life. For example, because family situations play an important role in who you are, they’ll ask about your family history and your current family situation.

Your current symptoms

Other than knowing the reason you sought counselling, the counsellor, will attempt to find out if you’re suffering from other symptoms of your problem. For example, your problem might be causing difficulty at work.

Don’t just sit there

Counselling is a team effort. If you don’t take an active part in the session, you won’t find the counselling experience valuable. Here are some things you can do to make your first session as successful as possible.

Be open

Counsellors are trained to ask the right questions, but they’re not mind readers. They can do their job more effectively if you answer the questions openly and honestly.

Be prepared

Before you get to the session, know how to describe “what’s wrong,” and to describe your feelings about your problem. One way to prepare is to write down the reasons you’re seeking help. Make a list and then read it out loud. Hearing yourself say it a few times will help you describe things more clearly to the counsellor.

Ask questions

The more you understand the counselling experience or how counseling works, the more comfortable you’ll be. Ask questions about the therapy process, and ask the counsellor to repeat anything you don’t understand.

Be open and honest about your feelings

A lot will be going through your head in this first session. Listen to your own reactions and feelings, and share them with the counsellor. You’ll both learn from these insights.

Be sure to go to your first session with realistic expectations. Counselling is not a quick fix for your problem, rather it is a process. With some effort on your part and a strong relationship with your counsellor, it can be a successful tool toward resolving problems.

⃰ edited from: Bressert, S. (2006). What to Expect in Your First Counseling Session. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-to-expect-in-your-first-counseling-session/000116