How to Get the Most Out of Counseling

How to Get the Most Out of Counseling

Going to counseling regularly has plenty of benefits, such as improved communication and coping skills. However, what you get out of these sessions is a direct result of what you put into them. Simply showing up to your appointments does not guarantee you will see the benefits of counseling in your everyday life. Creating a comfortable environment for yourself and coming to appointments prepared, are ways to help you get the most out of counseling.

Find the Right Counselor for You

The first step towards beneficial counseling sessions is finding the right counselor for you. Oftentimes, this requires research, time and energy. Sometimes, it can be as simple as Googling, “Centennial Counseling” or “Find a counselor near me.” It is common to initially feel nervous and uncomfortable about counseling. A good counselor will help you work through these feelings, creating a healthy relationship with you based on open communication and trust. This will lead to you being more relaxed in sessions and able to open up more. Another quality to keep in mind is to find a counselor that specializes in what you need. For example, if you are looking to gain tools to cope with past trauma, search for counselors that have prior experience and specializations in this area.

Come Prepared

Preparing for your sessions can help guide them and make them more effective. Leading up to your appointment, make sure to write down anything that you think of that you’d want to bring up in your sessions. You can do this in a journal or in a notes app on your phone, so it’s easily accessible and you don’t forget to bring it to your appointment. The pressure of actually having to remember everything in the appointment can lead to you forgetting things you wanted to talk about. During the time away from your appointments, you can also take notes about what happens throughout your week and your feelings about it. This way your counselor can get a better idea of who you are outside of your sessions.

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Figure Out What Works Best for You

Finding out what environment is most comfortable for you can help you get the most out of your counseling sessions. These days, many providers offer telehealth counseling. If you are someone who is often out of town or would just prefer to not go into the office, a counselor that offers these services would be the best fit for you. You also should schedule your appointments for the best time of day for you. If you’re a morning person, visits would probably go better for you earlier in the day. It may also help to give yourself time after your sessions to reflect on what you just went over instead of hurrying off to work immediately. Make sure to schedule your appointments for times when conflicts are unlikely to come up so you don’t end up canceling on them. Making counseling sessions a priority will lead to you getting more out of them.

Take Notes

Taking notes during the appointments can be helpful in addition to the ones you bring into the sessions. This helps you take what you have learned during the session and bring it out with you into your daily life. Coming back to these notes frequently throughout the week will help you remember what you went over with your counselor in mind. If they had any homework for you in between sessions, you can take notes about how it went here as well.

Counseling is hard work and positive results from it can take time. If you do feel frustrated by how long things are taking, bring these feelings up with your counselor. This way, you both can go over your long and short term goals. Good counseling sessions can often feel like work, but keep in mind that it is a valuable investment in yourself and your future. If you use these tools to get the most out of counseling, you will likely see positive benefits from it in your everyday life.

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