A New Beginning: Making Counseling Successful

Mental Health Awareness
Cognitive Reframing – A New Perspective

Taking the first step to seeking help can seem intimidating. With any new beginning there is always a process. I remember being pregnant for the first time and initially feeling excited. That excitement quickly turned into feeling anxious, then afraid. It took some time for me to process my thoughts and the changes my body was going through.

As with pregnancy, I like to view counseling as a new beginning. Prior to starting counseling, you may feel an array of emotions before making the phone call to schedule an appointment. Various questions or statements such as, “How did I get here”, “why me” or “this can’t be happening” may flow through your mind. Not knowing what to expect in your first session can make you feel anxious. The way to address some of these feelings is to ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of counseling?” At your first session we’ll explore what brought you in and begin establishing a working relationship. You may be looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you may be ready to move in a new direction. Counseling does not have to be a lifelong commitment. You only need it as long as you need it.

The goal to making counseling successful is ensuring that you are an active participant in your treatment. In order for counseling to work, being engaged in the process of change is vital.  Sometimes it will require you doing your own homework outside of session.  Depending on what is going on in your life I may recommend keeping a journal. This will allow you to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings throughout the week.  

Be patient with yourself and the journey. Some issues can be resolved quickly and other issues may take some time. Give yourself a pat on the back that you have taken the first step to receiving help. Remember that with each step it draws you closer to your goal.