Asking yourself why you want to go to counseling is a helpful step prior to meeting with a counselor. You want to determine your reasons for seeking help, why now, and what you want to see change in your life. Also, this will be the first question most counselors will ask you. Something along the lines of, “why do you want counseling at this time?”
Why it is important to ask this question:
If you know your reasons for seeking counseling, it can help you find the best fit professional to meet your needs.
For example, if you are wanting counseling to help you find new strategies to address your depression, you will want to go to a counselor who has training and experience working with depression. Remember, as the client, you are also determining if this is the best fit counselor for you. Ask the counselor if they have worked with people going through a similar situation as you are at this time.
You are also determining if this is the best fit counselor for you.
Some reasons for wanting counseling:
You have already exhausted all your resources. You have talked to your friends, family, and mentors, which may or may not have been helpful. Maybe some friends did offer some helpful advice, but you come to a counselor to seek another level of care.
The mental health professional is a confidential resource, outside of your social circle, who you can talk with and ensure that what you say in their office stays in their office.*
Perhaps you have been experiencing the same disruptive emotional symptoms or unhelpful relationship patterns. A counselor or therapist can help you learn the root causes of these patterns, find behavioral interventions, and be there to check in with as you learn and implement new, healthy patterns into your life.
You’re curious about it. If you are unsure if you need or want counseling, you can always go simply because you are curious about it. Usually after talking through your personal history and state of current emotions, behaviors, and relationships, your counselor will be able to tell you if there are areas in your life that counseling can address. Now, as a counselor, this is a little difficult because I see it is easiest to address an area of concern that the client agrees is an area of concern. For example, you go to counseling because you are curious about it and the counselor points out that it seems you need to sleep more. If you are unwilling to make any changes to your nighttime routine or sleeping habits, counseling alone will not help your sleep routine. You have to be willing to address those areas of your life and implement behavior changes with your sleep in order to see progress in that area of your life.
There are many other reasons a person may seek out counseling. This is not an exhaustive list!
If this post resonates with you and you want to see if I would be a good fit counselor to meet with you, please contact me today. firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out my website contact form.
*Similar to any healthcare provider, there are always exceptions to confidentiality, like if someone says they are going to hurt themselves, hurt someone else, or if abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult is disclosed, etc. In those cases, other professionals, such as law enforcement, need to be notified in order to protect the client or others. Your counselor will always tell you what the limits are to confidentiality.