Your first session with a counselor is a great time to ask any questions and get a feel for how they run their practice. Make sure you use this time to learn as much as you need to make a decision about whether or not you want to come back to see them. If you continue to see a counselor you are unsure about, you’re wasting time and money that you could be using on a counselor that is a better fit for you. Below are 5 questions that we recommend you ask in your first session to help decide if they are a good fit for you.
What is your background?
Inquiring about their background gives the counselor the floor to tell you anything they would like you to know about themselves. This will also tell you what their training looked like and if they specialize in anything relevant to you. This can also teach you if you have any similarities that could help them counsel you better.
What does a typical session look like?
The counselor’s answer will help you understand how they like to run their practice and give you a better idea of what to expect. This might give you an idea of how long their appointments usually are and how often they would want you to come.
What’s your philosophy around counseling?
This is important to ask so you know that you and your counselor are on the same page. If you and your counselor believe in very different approaches to therapy, you will likely not get exactly what you wanted to get out of it. You must also hire a counselor with an LPCC degree and other qualifications.
What resources are available outside of our sessions?
Different counselors will offer different types of resources for their patients besides only their sessions. This is something to look for if you are wanting to get certain types of support and even if you’re not it is nice to know everything you have available to you. If you would prefer to not have to go into the office for every appointment, ask if they have telehealth counseling.
What will progress look like?
The answer to this question will vary depending on what you are looking to accomplish from going to counseling. It’s important to ask this question so you know that you and your counselor are both aware of your goals and know what steps you need to take to get there. The counselor might not know the answer to this question at your first session but this will give them time to explain ideas about how to measure your progress to you. This also shows them that you are serious about gaining something from these sessions.
If you are still in the beginning stages of looking for a counselor, start by searching your area and type of provider online. For example, searching ‘Centennial counseling’ will give you a list of nearby providers to research. After you narrow it down, bring this list of questions to your initial consultation with a few counselors. Once you have found one that fits all of your needs, your search for a counselor is over.