If you’re new to counselling, you’re probably wondering what to expect. You may also be wondering what you can do to get the most out of each visit and maximize your time. While you and your counsellor will agree on goals and strategies together during your appointments, there are some things you can do in advance to truly reap the benefits of counselling.
Keep an open mind.
Counselling doesn’t always look like what you see on TV, the counsellor on a chair with a notepad and the patient lying on a couch. Counselling uses a variety of approaches, and counsellors are interested in science-based techniques in their practices.
If you are skeptical or resistant to counselling, you’ll see slower progress. Go into your appointments with an open mind and a willingness to share.
Counsellors aren’t there to judge you, they’re there to support you. That’s really hard to do if you’re not being truthful with them. The best way to maximize your time with your counsellor is simply by being honest. Tell them what’s on your mind, when a strategy isn’t working, or when you’ve slipped up. Share your successes, too! Your counsellor has heard it all before, trust us.
Be on time.
A counsellor’s schedule is often back-to-back, making it hard to make up for lost time if the appointment starts late. By being on time, or even a few minutes early, for your visits, you can take advantage of the full time that you’re booked for.
Be a willing participant.
Counselling requires work and follow up to see progress. You can expect to develop action plans that you’ll implement in your daily life. You must be willing to follow through with these plans if you want to truly benefit from your sessions. Positive changes start in counselling but bloom in real-life application.
Counselling has many proven benefits and can be a great approach to helping you improve mental health, talk through difficulties, or develop strategies. By making sure you’re coming prepared, you can make the most of your time!