Monday, October 25, 2021

How to Prepare for an Adult Therapy Session

How to Prepare for an Adult Therapy Session - EMDR adult therapy - Blackhawk Development Center

For people new to counseling sessions or reaching out for help, initiating adult therapy can invoke a multitude of emotions. They might feel nervous, uncertain, excited, and sometimes they might question if they’re making the right choice. If you’re in this position, it’s normal to feel a complicated mix of emotions. Initiating any form of counseling, from individual sessions to EMDR therapy, is a big decision that can carry many meanings for you, and it helps to take a few preparation steps before your first session. 

With any change in your life, you’ll go through a period of adjustment. You’ll figure out what the change means for your routine and how it will affect your outlook and approach to daily life.

1. Determine your goals

Before your first adult therapy session, take some time to reflect on why you’re attending counseling. Did somebody make a suggestion and you took it? Have you been considering it for some time and only recently decided to take action? It’s okay if you don’t know why you’re starting counseling, as some people initiate sessions without a specific goal in mind. Maybe you’ve increasingly felt off and don’t know how to alleviate the heightened tension. Either way, if you should have at least one goal for counseling. It can be as specific as finding ways to live with increasing depression and anxiety or abstract as getting out of a strange haze that’s been floating about you. Your goals might change as your counselor helps you walk through your life and the symptoms you want to mitigate.


2. Have an open mind

Your goals aren’t the only predetermined things that could change during counseling. While talking with your counselor, you’ll learn new things about yourself. You’ll become more aware of yourself, how you’re currently feeling, and how to best describe your emotions, wants, and needs. These realizations come when your mind is most open to discoveries that change you and your life. If you attend counseling with a defensive or rigid mindset, you could have a difficult time reaching the place of clarity needed to soothe your symptoms.

3. Don’t worry about what to say

Counseling is a different environment than any other. You don’t need to hold yourself to a strict professional standard and can reveal as much information as you feel comfortable disclosing. Your counselor is here to help you in whatever way they can, and they’ll work with whatever information you provide on paperwork and in discussion. It’s okay to sit in silence if you’re uncertain about what to say. Your counselor might ask questions or inquire about previous information to guide you along, but you can also bring up whatever is on your mind. Often, what seems random or unrelated to your situation is indirectly—or even directly—related to solving your issue.

4. Leave a time cushion around your session

Especially for your first session, you’ll want some time before and after to yourself. Going into your session directly after an important work meeting or a major family event might make it harder for you to relax and put yourself in the necessary mindset. Likewise, it’s not the best to head to a major event directly after counseling. After each session, dedicate a cushion of time to yourself, and ease yourself out of the counseling mindset to pick up on everyday activities.

5. Make therapy what you want

A good therapist or counselor isn’t going to assign you a rigid treatment. They will create a program based on your wants, needs, and what their expertise says is best for your situation. You’ll remain at the wheel of the program, ultimately deciding if the treatment is right for you and how long you will remain in it. If you feel the symptoms you came in for are treated and you’d like to move to another focus, your therapist will help you pivot and stay on target for improving yourself and your life.

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