Counseling can help people cope with everything from the stresses of everyday life to major losses and everything in between. It's a valuable tool to empower someone to cope and get more out of life. Before going to your first counseling session, it's important to learn how to get the most out of your sessions. These things can help you more fully embrace the luxury that counseling truly can be.
The Work Takes Time
Be realistic about what therapy will and won't offer you. Few problems are going to be solved in a single session. Counseling is a process that can help someone take control of their lives and own who they are, but it won't work miracles overnight. Commit to ongoing progress and show up each week to help the healing process move along.
Honesty is the Only Effective Policy
Whatever you do, don't lie during a counseling session. The therapist is there to help you, and lying in a session only hurts yourself. What you tell the counselor is confidential in nearly every situation. If in doubt, ask the counselor about which circumstances confidentiality would not be honored. Whatever you do, though, keep it real and honest during your counseling sessions.
No Therapist is for Everyone
The dynamic between you and your therapist is important. You need to be able to open up to the counselor and feel that they are willing to listen without judgment. If you don't click with a counselor for any reason, it's okay to move on, and you can even ask the therapist for a referral or recommendation. On the other hand, try to give any new counselor a chance for a few sessions unless there is a clear, definite reason that it is just not going to work for you. Sometimes it takes a few sessions to get comfortable with a new counselor.
Choosing a Topic Is Okay
Your counseling sessions are truly for helping you. You can take control of your session by requesting a topic to focus on within a session. Sometimes a counselor may have specific reasons why they want to focus on something else, but usually you are able to guide the session in that way. Whether you simply want to spend a session talking about something that happened 30 years ago or you want to discuss a current fear, your counselor is going to want to help you accept and understand difficult situations in your life.
Finally, keep in mind that every counseling session may feel a little different. You will feel better after some sessions than you do with others. Keep at it because you deserve this powerful tool that can help empower you to make positive changes in your life and better understand yourself.
For more information, visit a counseling firm, such as Blue Spruce Counseling.