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Good afternoon. I hope that I am able to help you today. I can give you a brief idea of what to expect in your first session with a therapist, but of course all counselors may have a different style.
during your first session you can be sure that you will be introduced to the limits of confidentiality and also your rights as a patient. You will often learn of "informed consent" which discusses the "risks" involved in counseling and uncovering some of the feelings that you have been having.
Personally, I often start with making sure that the client is not at risk to harm themselves or others, as well as the presence of any abuse history. I also complete what we call our "psychosocial assessment" where we discusses any psychiatric history in the family or individual. We review recent symptoms, the duration, the frequency of these, and any history of treatment. We identify any medical concerns that could be perpetuating any of the symptoms to make sure that there is not an underlying medical issues that is actually occurring. We go over medication lists, surgery and illness history. We process past and current living situations, any stressors associated with your environment. A vocational history, legal history, and educational history is gathered, along with your personal resources for support. It is evaluated in our clinic what you feel to be meaningful activities that you may be engaging in or you previously engaged in. We ask for a description of what your daily activities may be to see how active you are being at this time. We discuss what goals you would like to address in counseling sessions and ask for you to personalize your treatment by picking the topics of most concern or "triaging" through the issues so that the treatment is most effective and specific to your needs.
Your first session will probably be the longest as a great deal of history is gathered. I can send you a list of questions that are typically asked if you would like :)
Maybe this will help :)