Your first session will be an initial assessment. This is not a counselling session but an opportunity for your counsellor to speak to you and assess your situation to determine what type of counselling/therapy you will need and whether we are a good fit for you. It will usually involve your therapist asking certain questions about you and your life.
Questions he/she might ask include:
Reasons for seeking counselling/therapy services: Your counsellor/therapist needs to have an understanding of your presenting problem. They need to be able to understand the surface problems before going deep into the problem.
Current Symptoms: Part of understanding the surface problem will also involve assessing if there are other symptoms contributing to your problem.
The initial assessment can take one session or several other sessions to make a thorough diagnosis.
Be an active participant
Personal history: Expect to be asked questions about your personal life, family history, both from your family of origin and your current family situation. Your therapist/counsellor will use a tool called “genogram” to create an indepth picture of your family of origin and current family.
Be an active participant: Your therapist/Counsellor is not there to help you solve your problems. But will work with you to help you come up with a solution to manage your presenting problem. You will be expected to have an active part in the session. Be open. Your sessions are confidential and information you share with your counsellor/therapist will not be shared with anyone unless in the event of harm/danger. Have a good idea before your session about the issues you are facing, if you need to write it down to help you remember, do so. It is important you are prepared.
Honesty: Be honest about how you feel and feel free to ask your counsellor/therapist any questions you may have. it is important you understand what the therapist says. Be aware that therapy/counselling is not meant to be a quick fix to your problem, it is a process. Expect to be given home work assignments. Counselling/therapy is only one part of the process. The other part involves giving you the tools to try at home so as to empower you to be bring change to your situation.