A Helpful Guide to Your First Counselling Session
- Kate Pindera
- 1 Jan 2021
At any given year, 1 in every 5 Canadians experience addiction, and because of this, counselling is an integral part of the rehabilitation process. Making the decision to seek help for an addiction is one of the most important things you can do. Once you have gone through the detoxification process, you might feel ready for your first counselling session.
Counselling, or therapy, can be conducted in a group setting, with your family, or as a one-on-one session. Depending on your needs, the counselling sessions can be intensive at the beginning, but will gradually reduce over time as your symptoms improve.
Here are the different types of counselling and their desired intent:
Individual counselling lets you work one-on-one with a trained mental health professional. It’s a form of psychotherapy that brings you into a safe and caring environment and works by allowing you to open up in confidentiality for an open discussion on the challenges you are facing.
Because every individual has a unique set of needs, there is no distinct formula to carry out individual counselling. However, there are common approaches, which are:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
- Solutions-Focused Therapy
- Narrative Therapy
As the name suggests, this type of counselling is where a small group of individuals come together with a professional counsellor. Each person is given a chance to share their experiences and listen to what each other has to say.
Because of its relatable nature, group counselling aims to solve behavioural issues involved with addiction, such as relapse prevention. With the support of your peers, group sessions boost motivation and remove the feeling of isolation during this process.
Expectations for Your First Counselling Session
Before we move on to the list of things that can happen during your first counselling session, be sure to give yourself some credit for getting this far. Kicking the habit is a major step and you have a lot to be proud of.
You have already done yourself a great favour by acknowledging the problem and finding solutions for it. With that in mind, let’s walk through the things that you need to know before attending your first counselling session.
1. Expect to Fill Out Some Paperwork
Like all medical procedures that you might have gone through in the past, you will need to fill out some forms. Don’t worry, everything you disclose is confidential information and will only be used to ensure that the treatment you are getting is culturally competent and safe.
Some of the forms that you might be asked to fill out are:
- Insurance information
- Medical history information
- Therapist-patient service agreement
If you feel uncomfortable filling out these forms, you can wait until you are face-to-face with your therapist. There’s no rush or any pressure to complete them.
2. Expect to be Asked Questions About Your Past
Your first counselling session might be different from succeeding ones. The first one is always considered as a chance to get comfortable with each other. This means that your counsellor or therapist, or your peers, will ask questions about you.
You might feel nervous or anxious at the start, but there is no need to worry. Know that you are in a safe place and your therapist only wants you to be better. Being able to know your past habits allows your counsellor to come up with a customized treatment program that is best for you.
Some of the questions they might ask, initially, could be about:
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Medical history
- Addiction history and patterns
- What you expect from the sessions
Understand that the next sessions will be more therapeutic, with an intent to understand your specific situation. The main goal of counselling for addiction is to change the way you think about using substances, as well as to strengthen your skills moving forward.
3. You Can Ask Your Therapist Some Questions
Once your first counselling session is nearing an end, your therapist will ask if you have any questions or concerns. You can use this opportunity to get to know more about your therapist’s approaches, training and experience, and their goals for your treatment.
Some of the questions you can ask are:
- How can I be sure that this is all in confidentiality?
- What is the level of confidentiality?
- How long will each session last?
- How many sessions do I have to go through?
- What can I expect to happen in future sessions?
This is a good way to find out if you feel comfortable disclosing information about yourself – forming a trusting relationship with your therapist is an important factor towards your full recovery.
4. Fully Understand That Your Counsellor Is Your Ally
One good way to prepare for your first counselling session is to hold onto the fact that your therapist wants to help. Be confident that whatever you say to them, they will not expose your shortcomings, mistakes, or weaknesses. They are your co-collaborators in this whole process.
Individual and Group Counselling at Freedom From Addiction
Are you ready for your first counselling session? Whether it is for substance abuse or for your mental health, we will guide you through it. Our team of trained and compassionate counsellors at Freedom From Addiction in Toronto will offer the necessary programs to reach goals and sustain your progress. Our highly personal approach allows us to focus on each individual and give them the best care they deserve.
For more information about our drug addiction treatments, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. A member of our team will get back to you shortly. Contact us today!
- January 2022
- December 2021
- November 2021
- October 2021
- September 2021
- August 2021
- July 2021
- June 2021
- May 2021
- April 2021
- March 2021
- February 2021
- January 2021
- December 2020
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- August 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- January 2016
- November 2015
- October 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014