Preparing for your Counseling Session

By Lee Horton, Ph.D | | Categories: Counseling , Counselor , Marriage Counseling , Psychologist , Relationship Counseling , Stress Management , Therapist

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Your counseling session will not be a treatment in which you passively receive something that will make you better. Instead, it is a process of self-examination that will help you to make better choices in how you see yourself and others. To prepare for your session, you can prepare this way:

Prepare to talk about yourself. The process of psychotherapy or couple therapy begins by talking. You will need to be able to talk as much or, more likely more than the therapist. The therapist can facilitate the discussion by asking questions and being a careful listener, but you must talk.

Be open and honest. It’s difficult to be honest with another person. It can even be difficult to be honest with yourself. Perhaps your behavior falls short of your values, so you are disappointed in yourself. This is difficult to reveal, but you need to trust your therapist to focus on understanding you rather than judging your thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Focus on what you want to accomplish in therapy. If therapy were successful, what would you want to be different? How would your mood change? What would you look like to your partner or best friend if you changed? What would be the first sign that change is happening? Ask yourself what positive changes you would like to see from making the effort of seeing a therapist.

Be patient with yourself. Change takes time. You must be patient with the process of change. Be accountable by making an agreement with yourself to maintain your schedule of appointments even if change does not come quickly or easily. It is best to plan a course of treatment rather than simply deciding whether you feel like attending a session.

Be selfish! Allow yourself to enter a special relationship with your therapist, one in which you are the taker and the therapist is the giver. Let the therapy hour be for you; trust that you are worth your therapist’s time and effort to focus on you.