Even those who are die hard about receiving some help about either a mental illness or a rough patch someone is going through in their life might be a reticent about seeking counseling or therapy.
For many years, therapy had a social stigma attached to it. Many people tended to think that those who went to therapy were somehow crazy or abnormal. Luckily, such a stigma has somewhat been lifted, but the vestiges of being a little weary of what goes on during a therapy session still remains. Therapy can be a quite normal experience with licensed professionals knowing how to create an environment that is welcoming yet professional, friendly yet discreet. This brief article will serve to let you know what goes on during a therapy session.
Learning About Your Background
Although all adult counseling sessions differ and all therapists differ in scope and methodology, one of the most common things that occurs is that, during your first visit to a therapist, your therapist will want to learn about your background.
If you have a history of mental health issues, he or she may wish to read charts supplied by your psychiatrist, if you so allow them access to such information. This is not to say that all therapists will remain so aloof; many will go beyond the scope of simply examining medical charts in order to learn more about you.
Most therapists will get to know you during your first session. First and foremost, they will want to learn what brought you to therapy. Is there a specific reason, or is this time in your life just difficult and you need someone to talk to and add a bit of clarity to the fog of confusion that is resting on your life at the time being? Not only this, but many therapists will want a condensed version of your life story during this session. They want to be able to fit the puzzle pieces together, so to speak, and perhaps impute an impetus upon the problems that are currently plaguing your life.
Discuss What You Want Out Of This Relationship
Remember that a relationship with a therapist is just that: a relationship. And like all relationships, they are a two way street. You should not go to a therapist without knowing what you want out of your therapy sessions and you should not go to a therapist if you do not know why you are there. Remember, a therapist's job is to help you, but they can't help you if you're unwilling to help yourself, and they can't help you if you're unwilling to articulate what with what it is you need help.
It is a therapist's job to talk to you about you, but you have to come into this relationship with an idea of what it is that you wish to discuss. Although a good therapist can do a good job at coaxing truthful responses out of their clients, you should have an idea of what specifically it is you wish to discuss.
For example, if the main reason that you have come to therapy is to discuss the death of a beloved pet, then feel free to discuss this matter. Your therapist is here to help you, but first and foremost, he or she is there to listen to what it is you have to talk about. If it is helpful, even write a few things down, so you'll know what it is that you wish to discuss and work through.
Visiting a therapist's office should not be a social stigma. You also shouldn't feel like you should have to go into a therapist's session "blind", so to speak. Hopefully, this article has shed a bit of light on what occurs during that first session in a therapist's office.