Knowing you struggle with something like anxiety or depression can be hard. You might think you should be able to get over it on your own, or you may think it’s just a phase. While it’s true that certain life situations can cause you to be anxious, stressed, or depressed more than others, it’s also possible to feel that way regularly. So, you decide to set up an appointment with a clinical psychologist to see if they can help you. This is the hardest part of your journey to a healthier mental life: realizing that you need the support. A clinical psychologist understands that this is not an easy process, and we want to help you prepare for your appointment so you can be as comfortable as possible.
- Do Your Homework. The best way to begin feeling comfortable about seeing a clinical psychologist is simply to prepare. You chose to seek them out to help you for a reason. What is that reason? What circumstances or events are going on in your life right now (or have gone on in the past) that are causing you to seek out this type of therapy? Be honest with yourself and it can help you feel more comfortable when you sit down with the clinical psychologist.
- Know Your Limits. A clinical psychologist may recommend many different forms of treatment to find exactly the right one. However, just because there is an effective treatment option for someone else does not mean it’s the right treatment option for you. If you are uncomfortable taking medications, speak up. Your clinical psychologist may be interested in using a holistic and natural approach in your treatment plan.
- Try to Limit Your Expectations. When you go into your psychologist’s office assuming you’ll be lying down on a couch while your psychologist nods along, you may feel incredibly uncomfortable. You do not have to go deep into past problems at your first visit. In fact, your first visit is about getting to know your psychologist and what your expectations are. What do you want to get out of therapy? The standard session you see on TV is not what you should expect from your appointment. Be honest with your psychologist about your expectations and feel free to discuss what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable.
- Know Your Conversations are Confidential. There are very few exceptions to this rule (like if your therapist thinks you are going to harm yourself or someone else), so know that what you say to your therapist will remain behind those doors. It is a place where you should feel safe expressing yourself and getting at the heart of your anxieties and fears.
Choosing to go to a clinical psychologist for counseling in Palatine, IL is a huge first step. With the above tips in mind, you can better prepare yourself for what to expect at your first session. Call a clinic for more information and to speak with a clinical psychologist now.
Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into counseling and preparing for your first appointment.