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Old 10-21-2005, 01:24 PM   #1  
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Default What to Expect from Counseling

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping you might be willing to share some experience with me. I've been struggling with emotional issues for a very long time (years, years, years) but haven't been to a psych/counselor since a very short session in college (over 10 years ago). That session was basically a chat with one of the student interns for about 50 minutes after which he said basically that I'm having a hard time adjusting to school and trying to do too much, drop a class and adjust my priorities and everything will be fine. So I really don't know what to expect from a therapist or counselor but due to some recent events adding to the ongoing issues of struggling with emotional baggage,I think it might be a good idea for me to see one. My insurance kicks in two weeks from now, and I'm thinking about setting up an appointment, but wanted to get an idea of what I could expect, and maybe an idea of how it helped (or didn't), etc.
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Old 10-21-2005, 02:57 PM   #2  
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Well let's see....
The first thing is to make sure you're comfortable with the counselor you choose or no matter how many times you go it won't help. It will become a point of stress for you if you are uncomfortable. It may take going a couple of time before you know whether or not you match up with them well. I've been on both sides of the coin on this one. I had a wonderful therapist that I could share everything with. Then the insurance changed and he was no longer covered and I couldn't afford to go to him without the insurance. I waited a couple of years before going to another. The next one I went to started out ok the first 2 or 3 visits and then I realized how much I was holding back because I wasn't "clicking" personality wise with her or the psychiatrist. If you do "click" great! If not don't hesitate to choose another person, just make sure you give it a couple of sessions before you decide.

The first few sessions are usually get to know you type sessions. What's your life like, family, work, feelings etc... And also they'll want to know what meds you're on or have taken, a medical history, some want a brief family medical history on you (your parents, siblings, etc..). THey'll ask you how long your feelings have been this way and what made you decide to come see them. THey'll go over a list of symptoms to see what you have and don't (sleeping to much, not enough, anxiety, crying, hopelessness, anger, fear, etc..) Sessions usually last 30-45 min (most are 30).

Also don't be afraid to question them as well. You have a right to know who's treating you. If you like I can post the questionaire I use. Stuff like where did you earn your degree, how long have you been practicing, what is your sucess rate with patients you treat etc...

Once you've established a basic understanding of eachother then the tratment sessions begin. That's where you'll get into the actual things and problems and issues that are bothering you and try to work through them. Each therapist handles counseling differently. I've come to believe that their style is personality based. Some will question you and lead you to conclusions and solutions, some will simply let you talk about what's bothering you and listen to what you have to say, others will give worksheets and handouts for you to complete at home and bring back for discussion, others will want you to keep a journal and go over it with them. There are many different styles.

If you get with a therapist that works well with your personality it can make all the difference in the world. You can feel like a whole new person ready to take on the world and make it your's(and that feels great), but if you get with one that you don't particularly mesh with then it can leave you feeling worse. So, whatever you do make sure you can work well with this person and that you feel at ease with this person cause they are performing a very important service. They are helping you to take care of yourself.

I don't know if any of this helped but I hope it did. Let us know if you need anything or just want a friendly ear.
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:20 PM   #3  
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I really want to get some couselling.... I can get it through work, but I just got to make the call....
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