If something in your life has spurred you into going to counseling for the first time in your adulthood—whether it’s issues in your marriage or depression that you’ve been experiencing since moving into your assisted living facility—you might be feeling a little nervous about this appointment and what to expect. While a little anxiety about doing something new is normal, learning more about what to expect from this and your subsequent therapy sessions can help to ease your emotions a little bit.
To give you a bit more understanding about this, here are three ways to prepare for going to counseling for the first time as an adult.
Understand That Therapy Is Work
While you might be going to therapy in the first place to get some help with issues that you’re struggling with, it’s worth knowing that therapy isn’t going to be a quick fix. In reality, going to counseling is going to require a lot of work on your part.
In most cases, you and your therapist are going to think about changes that you can make in your life based on your past experiences. Delving into these past experiences can be a lot of work in and of themselves. But if you’re trying to fight against years of habits and habitual ways of thinking, you better be ready to put some real effort behind this. So while you may eventually see big improvements in your life after therapy, this will only come after a lot of hard work.
Come With Some Goals In Mind
As you’re getting ready for your first meeting with your new counselor, it’s wise to think about some goals that you might have before you even come to your session. These goals can involve all kinds of things, from starting new habits or stopping old habits to being able to do something that you haven’t been able to manage in the past.
While you’ll likely set these goals with your counselor and speak about them together during your sessions, you’re ultimately the one who will be able to tell if your therapy is working or not by the way that you’re able to make progress toward your goals and live a life that makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
Give Yourself Time To Unwind After Therapy Sessions
The time that you spend in a therapy session can really take a lot out of you, both emotionally and physically. Because of this, you may want to be mindful about what you plan to do after each therapy appointment that you have.
Ideally, you should try to give yourself some time to unwind and process after each counseling session. Allow your body and your mind to relax so that anything that got brought up during your therapy session won’t be held into your body or your mind for an unhealthy amount of time.
If you’re going to be going to counseling for the first time in your adulthood, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you prepare for all that this will likely entail for you.