5 Ways to Prepare for Your First Session

Couple hugging and smiling at each other.
Sustaining Love
February 28, 2024
symptoms of burnout
10 Symptoms of Burnout You Shouldn’t Ignore
April 8, 2024
Man smiling while speaking to a counsellor

For many, starting a counselling journey can be a step towards healing. Mentally and
physically preparing yourself before you start a session can be a great way to maximize your
time, reduce any anxiety you may have and help you clarify your thoughts. It is totally natural to
feel nervous, excited or apprehensive before a session. This blog post will provide you with
some helpful tips to set yourself up for success before your next session.

Before your next session

  1. Ease into things with a phone consultation:

    For those of us who find therapy a little stressful, a phone consultation can help ease yourself into counselling. Many counselling practices offer free consultations where you can ask your counsellor any preliminary questions, learn about their counselling style and approach and let them know what you are hoping to focus on. Think about what you want to achieve! Setting goals for yourself before starting a session can be a great step to maximising your time. For example, you might be looking to improve communication with your partner or family. Perhaps you are thinking about changing careers, and looking for advice on transitioning. Once you have an idea of what you might want to achieve, you can let your counsellor know what you would like to focus on, and they can tailor the session to ensure you are supported. It can even be helpful sometimes to jot down your thoughts before your first session to help you verbalize your feelings.

  2. Some common questions that can be helpful to ask your counsellor during a first consultation might include:

    • 1. How much experience do you have in treating my issues and concerns?
    • 2. How long have you been providing counselling?
    • 3. How will we work together to set my therapy goals?
    • 4. Do you take a more directive or more guiding approach to therapy?
  3. Schedule time for yourself after a session:

    Counselling can be emotionally draining, and it is important to give yourself time to decompress. Allowing yourself 30-60 minutes after a session to focus on yourself can help you reset before you face any other priorities in the day. If you typically journal, this can be a great opportunity to write down your reflections. Otherwise, consider taking a brisk walk, playing with a pet or reading a book can all be positive post-therapy self-care ideas.

  4. Reach out to a loved one:

    Sometimes it can be hard to open up with our loved ones about any mental health challenges we may be facing. However, it can help especially when seeking counselling to let a friend or family member know you are talking to a mental health professional. Confiding in your loved ones can help you process any learnings you’ve taken from your sessions.

  5. Practice honest communication:

    Your relationship with your counsellor is extremely important, and like all relationships is built on trust and open communication. Therefore, it’s important to be fully honest with them and keep in mind that they are on your side and will keep your information confidential.

Before your next session

Taking the Next Step

At Your Path Counselling, we offer complimentary consultations to ensure that you are matched with a counsellor best suited to your needs. The fact that you’re seeking advice and support is proof that you’re on the right path. If you want a little extra support before or after your first therapy session – or need help booking your first one – don’t hesitate to reach out to us by email.

Free 15-Minute Consultation