Thursday, August 6, 2015

What to expect on your first visit

I had my first visit with my new counselor today. I'll post more on that later.

As I was getting ready to go one of the things that calmed my nerves was thinking about different posts I want to do on here. This post "What to expect" started swirling around in my mind, so here it is.
  • First step is talking to your Bishop and getting a referral to LDS Family Services. After your bishop has called them, they will assign you to a counselor. Once you've been assigned a counselor LDSFS will call you and set up your first appointment.
  • Make sure to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork.
  • Even though every time they show therapy in movies or tv shows they show people laying down, it's not really like that. Your counselor will take you to a private office, there will most likely be an office desk and chair for the counselor and chairs or a couch for clients to sit on.
  • Your first visit will mostly be your counselor getting to know you.

- Where are you from, your life story
- What has brought you to counseling
- Deeper questions about problem
- In what ways is (your problem) affecting your life?
-  Discuss what you hope to accomplish in your sessions, set goals that you want to deal with A, B and C.
  • Be prepared to open up. I know it is hard to instantly start trusting someone you just met and tell them all about your problems! If you don't talk about your life, your problems or how they are affecting your life then the counselor won't know what is wrong or how to help you.
  • Before you go write down why you are going into counseling.
-For me, dealing with depression, we discussed the symptoms I have. We also talked about what it was like for me to be dealing with the depression. I should have written things down because I had a hard time describing things.
  • Feel free to ask questions.
  • The counselor might take notes during (or after) your session. 
  • Realize that these things take time! Each time I have gone to counseling to deal with different issues I spend on average 9 months seeing the counselor and dealing with everything.
  • Expect to have to do things. Talking is great, but to fully deal with everything you will have to do more! These things might include reading a book or article, try a new techniec (changing thoughts, actions, reactions), work on worksheets.
  • Tell your counselor if you feel like things aren't work. You might need to try a few different things (techniques) to find what works for you.
  • Don't feel bad if you feel like you and the counselor don't click. The counselor doesn't want to waste your time or money if they aren't helping you.

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