What To Expect From Your First Counseling Session


Starting counseling for the first time, or even with a different therapist can feel a bit daunting. Part of that apprehension can be the fear of unknown of what therapy will be like, or perhaps some misconceptions about what happens in counseling. At Copper Creek Counseling, we believe that therapy is a truly collaborative process and that clients who are educated about the process tend to be more successful at meeting their counseling goals. So, to that end, here are some things you can expect from your Copper Creek therapist in your first session:

  • You will be provided with clearly worded paperwork that explains your rights as a client, legal expectations of your therapist, financial policies and procedures, as well as expectations about the therapeutic process

  • In the first session, your therapist will conduct a thorough assessment of the problem for which you are seeking counseling. Your therapist will ask some detailed questions to be sure he or she understands both your concern and your goals for therapy. In some cases, this assessment process may require two or three sessions to complete.

  • In session, your therapist will go over the paperwork to answer any questions and make sure you understand the content of the forms. Upon request, your therapist will provide you with a copy of all forms you signed. He or she will discuss payment procedures and go over any relevant health insurance benefits.

  • Once the assessment is completed, your therapist will share their initial impressions of the presenting problem. He or she will suggest some options for addressing the issue and may recommend a preferred course of therapy to address that particular concern. You will participate in the process of setting treatment goals and will choose how those issues will be addressed in therapy.

  • Your therapist will briefly discuss the therapeutic process with you and explain a bit about his or her approach to counseling. He or she will also clarify his or her expectations of you as a client. You will have an opportunity to ask any questions or express any concerns about starting the counseling process.

  • Finally, your therapist will clarify the next step in reaching your counseling goals as well as any expectations of you for the next session. You will always have the opportunity to give feedback about the “fit” of the assignment for you and your goals.