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Getting Help: What to Expect in Your First Counselling Session

Counselling in Thunder Bay

Admitting to ourselves that we need help dealing with our mental or emotional state is no easy thing. It’s important to understand that despite lingering stigmas, there is absolutely no shame in the desire to get your mental health under control. Now that you’ve taken the first step, what should you expect throughout the course of your first session? The office of Dr. Paul Johnston, your counselling centre in Thunder Bay, will walk you through how to begin working toward a more manageable future.

Why Did You Seek Therapy?

Think of a first session with your new psychologist as an introduction. We want to know why you sought help, not only to identify your needs, but also to gain a more intimate understanding of who you are. It’s important to be honest and open during your first session. In order for counselling to work, there needs to be complete trust between patient and therapist. Our psychologist in Thunder Bay will help facilitate the process by creating a welcoming environment where you can be comfortable and forthcoming.

What Is Your Current Situation?

In order to understand the reason discussed in our first point, your therapist will likely ask about various aspects of your life. There are very specific things (family, relationships, employment) that contribute to your current psychological state. These details will be integral in narrowing down the root of your issue.

What Are Your Symptoms?

Separate from your reasons for seeking therapy, the counsellor will want to know of any physical or emotional symptoms you’re experiencing. This could be anything from difficulty at work to a lack of appetite or even simple changes in your mood.

Expect to Be Nervous

Opening an honest dialogue with someone you don’t know (even a medical professional) is a difficult request. It’s natural to be nervous. It’s important to not let this dissuade you from continuing with future sessions.

Don’t Expect a Diagnosis

While your psychologist might offer a preliminary diagnosis at the end of your first session, it’s far more likely that you not receive one for at least two or three sessions.

If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mood disorder, contact the office of Dr. Paul Johnston. We offer counselling in Thunder Bay to patients with a variety of symptoms. For more information regarding the need for counselling, visit our website and make an appointment today.


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