3 Tips To Remember If You’re Getting Counseling For The First Time

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“You must work with a therapist to change the way you think, feel, and act. It requires education, understanding, and participation,” says Madhukar Trivedi, MD.

Counseling is a useful treatment for everyone. When you can’t get over your ex or you are about to drown in stress, you can meet a counselor to know how to handle your thoughts and emotions. If you have a mental disorder, different forms of therapy may help you manage it without medication. Besides, you can use counseling to mend broken relationships, bring light into your life, and cope with your issues, among others. You may find similar articles in websites like scarymommy.com and sheknows.com.

Nonetheless, you cannot go to counseling for the first time without knowing the following things.

  1. Look For A Good Therapist

The hard truth is that not all counselors who took the same oath have the same way of thinking when providing their services. While some can quickly act like a professional in the office, others let their worries run amok. You might also find new ones who are too afraid of making you blow up, to the point that they avoid asking questions about your problems.

It will be smart to prepare a list of therapists before you even go to one. Search for them online or get recommendations from your loved ones. This way, if you don’t click with the first counselor, you can meet the second, third, or nth mental health professional until you come across someone trustworthy.


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2. Don’t Veil Your Real Feelings

Counselors are not like doctors who have machines to ensure their findings. The former can merely rely on your words as they teach you coping techniques. One with years of experience reading their clients’ behaviors can tell as well whether you are lying or not. So it is best to stop trying to hide your emotions from the therapist.

We get that you may be uncomfortable with the idea of spilling your deepest secrets to someone. You may not have done that even in front of your closest family members and friends, but it matters to be honest if you want to have peace of mind again. “Our brain is very sensitive to perceptions of threat, and when anxiety gets in our way, starts to interfere with our lives, jobs, obligations or social relationships, then that becomes a problem,” says Dr. Scott Bea PsyD. It may be the same anxious feeling that one experiences when going to therapy.

3. Be Patient IfThe Healing Process Takes A While

The only upside of medicating when you have mental problems is that it can make you feel okay for a few hours. You can go on with your day as you usually do; you need not think about your disorder. However, the drugs work to suppress the symptoms of an illness so that it can become addictive in the end.

When it comes to counseling, not even the therapist can honestly tell whether you will see changes in yourself after three weeks or three months. It depends on how open you are to the likelihood of separating yourself from the problems and learning coping mechanisms. Thus, try not to get devastated if your healing process takes a while.


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In The End

Nobody goes to therapy for no reason. You surely have some, which you should share with the counselor on your first meeting. That will allow him or her to align their goals with yours and help you move in the opposite direction of your issues. “Therapy can help you explore roadblocks to self-esteem and teach you practical ways to make your happiness a priority,” says Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP. After all, what we want in life is to be happy.

Good luck with your first counseling session!