The anticipation of your first counselling session can be stressful. There are three main ways you should prepare for this session: practical, relational and internal.
- Buffer: Be there at least 15 minutes early and give yourself at least an hour in your schedule before and after the session. Your body needs the dignity of some breathing room.
- Comfort: Bring something that comforts you. Stress balls, soft blankets and hot drinks help you feel like yourself.
- Update: Update your computer or phone if you’re having a virtual session.
- Debrief-er: Having someone ask, “So, how did counselling go?” helps.
- Witness: Another human knowing you’re taking a risk gives it dignity.
- Sentence: The counsellor will ask, “How can I help?” Having a sentence or idea written in front of you will make you feel more confident. Pen & paper give grace to insights you want to remember.
- Remember: You have taken worthy risks in the past. Enjoy the highlights of where courage has taken you.
Not all of these will work for you but having some time to prepare for the session takes seriously the courage required. You can do this. You really can.
Once you’ve prepared for your first counselling session, you may want to read "What Happens in the First Counselling Session?" or "What Happens After The First Counselling Session?"