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  • Matt McTeague

Getting Started With Counseling - What to Expect

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

Often times, the thought of sharing your personal emotions with a counselor can cause anxiety and increase existing mental tension.

This post will help you understand what happens before and during your first appointment, hoping to lay the groundwork for the success of upcoming counseling sessions.

The initial resources

To start, you’ll have to sort out some basic protocols to have everything documented.

There are forms to be filled out and paperwork to be completed. After this is achieved, you’ll get to start your first scheduled session.

Initial introductions

While many people are often anxious in the moments leading up to their first session, what actually happens is a relaxed exchange with fundamental interactions on a get-to-know basis.

The counselor will try to make you relaxed, as it’s common to get carried away and forget that the specialists are also human. Before the session can truly get going, connecting with your counselor is essential.

There’s no need to begin with, your deepest worries. Instead, the initial conversation is a slow easing from basic information such as your hobbies and frequent activities- basically an introduction.

By establishing this relationship, you’ll find communicating easier over time, and the counselor will better connect with your point of concern.

Establishing your needs

Your counselor will probe to discover why you’re attending the therapy session. By identifying your goals, they’ll be able to understand better how to help you.

The probe will often involve questions regarding any previous attempts at mental health care and what you are currently experiencing.


After your needs and targets have been established, come the questions. Some of the most common questions you’ll be asked include the following:

  • What symptoms are you experiencing?

  • Do you have suicidal tendencies? Do you have a family history of mental ailments?

  • Are you inclined toward self-harm?

How can you prepare for your first counseling session?

Counselors will often ask you to inquire as to some questions that you have for them. This is to help them ascertain your feelings about them and the therapy sessions. If you haven’t prepared beforehand, you could be stumped about this.

Here are some questions you can ask when getting started with counseling:

  • How much experience do you have with my particular mental ailment?

  • For how long have you been a practicing specialist?

  • How can I prepare in-between sessions?

Now that you know what to expect, you should go ahead to book a counseling session with a licensed and experienced specialist like Matt McTeague. Get help now!


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