Updated: Aug 23
Hopefully, the first session jitters are gone when you arrive at the office for your second session. You attend the session with a renewed sense of confidence that the situation you are dealing with can be reasonably improved. You are motivated to return to living your best life and rediscovering your best self.
Even with all your enthusiasm, you may harbor some doubt about seeking therapy. It is ok if you are not 100% clear on your reason for seeking treatment. While in counseling, you may have your aha moment. Things become more apparent as you and your therapist work collaboratively toward your preferred future.
The answers to the following questions can serve as a guidepost for your therapeutic goals:
What changes would you like to happen by the end of your counseling sessions?
What difference would these changes make?
What is already working for you?
How would you know you are making progress towards your preferred future?
What would you be doing differently if you were achieving your therapeutic goals?
What will other people notice that is different about you?
When we seek help, we endeavor to find solutions to our problems. For example, in solution-focused brief therapy, the therapist engages you in problem-free talk . As a matter of fact, the therapist does not overemphasize the problem but redirects you from a problem-saturated narrative to a solution-focused orientation. In this way, you get closer to what you want instead of the problem.
Your aha moment may come further in the therapeutic process. Should your therapeutic experience seem slow, remember that adapting new behaviors and ways of thinking can be difficult. Your active participation in the therapeutic process strengthens the changes you desire. For example, the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that fueled your insecurities, fears, shame, guilt, anger, and resentment may take some time to work through.
The clinician is a mental health expert but not an expert on your personal life. The clinician will work collaboratively with you and not assume to know what is best for you. Instead, the time will be spent addressing the most meaningful experiences to you. In other words, your treatment goals remain the priority. As well as the opportunity to build on your existing competence and resources to resolve the presenting problem.
Indeed, the therapeutic environment is where you safely explore your presenting problem in a judgment-free environment. Should you have a further inquiry about therapy, you still have the opportunity to ask your questions. This is especially important because as you begin to feel comfortable, the more you are likely to share during the sessions.
No matter the clinician's theoretical orientation, the intent of the therapeutic work is to improve your overall functioning. Thanks for reading this post. Your feedback is appreciated.
Stay Naturally Curious
Corey, G. (1996). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (5th ed). Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.
Ratner, H., George, E., & Iveson, C. (2012). Solution focus brief therapy, 100 key points & techniques. Routledge.