First Steps Are Not Always Easy for Some
Some people see seeking help as an act of weakness. They believe they should be “strong” enough on their own to deal with whatever issues or feelings are at hand. It is also understandable that some people feel a bit anxious about talking to a total stranger (a counselor) about what is going on in their lives. For others, there may be concerns that counseling will open a floodgate of reactions they have been trying to avoid.
Others may see the above as weakness, but here at Capstone Center, we believe that seeking help is an act of courage and strength. It is the ability to take action despite fear, worry or anxiety with the goal of coping better, gaining resources and feeling better.
You Don’t Have to Be in Crisis to Get Counseling
You don’t have to wait for your vehicle to break down to go to an auto-mechanic. You can schedule oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups or other maintenance to keep your vehicle running smoothly. You can schedule an annual physical with your physician to make sure that your body is healthy and if there are issues, your physician can help you address them. Similarly, you don’t have to be in a crisis to benefit from counseling. You can schedule a periodic session with your counselor to get a mental health “tune-up.” A counseling session creates a safe and confidential place for you to seek guidance from a trusted advisor, reflect on your life, and make changes.
What to Expect at Your First Session
When you make the decision to start counseling at Capstone Center, the first step is filling out a Confidential Client Intake Form. This form can be found on our website and emailed or faxed back to us. Or if you prefer to come a few minutes early to your first session and fill it out, that’s fine too. You will meet your counselor and review and sign a “Notice of Privacy” sheet. This reviews the importance of confidentiality in the therapeutic relationship and addresses the few situations where by law we would need to break confidentiality.
After the paperwork is done, you will have a chance to talk about:
- What brings you to Capstone.
- Your goals for the counseling.
- Your story or description of your situation and reactions.
- Any questions and concerns you have.
Your counselor will listen carefully with compassion and without judgment. They may ask you a few questions to help her or him understand more about what you are experiencing or have experienced. At the end of the session, it is not uncommon to do a brief review of what was covered in the session or what you learned. Sometimes your counselor may give you some coping techniques to try, or some brief homework. You may also receive some resources or referrals during the session. Additional appointments and payment are made with your counselor at the end of the session.
From a Capstone client:
“I was nervous before my first counseling session, but my counselor put me at ease early on in our conversation. By the end of the session, I felt really listened to and appreciated learning some new ways to cope.”