Most adults experience anxiety before their first session. That is a very common experience for first-time clients. You may worry about doing it wrong, saying the wrong things, or being a “bad” client. The good news is that there is no such a thing as a “bad” client. It is your counsellor’s job to guide the first sessions and to ask you the right questions to get a background on you. They probably will be jotting down some notes. By the end of the first session, they will convey their understanding of your challenges back to you and tell you about the general direction of therapy that they will be using in the following sessions.
Most often people wonder if they should tell everything to their counsellor in the first session. The answer is no if you do not feel comfortable doing so. You can tell as much as you are comfortable with and over time once you have built more trust with your counsellor, then you can share more intimate matters with them. If your counsellor asks you a question that you are not comfortable answering, then simply say so. Counsellors do not judge. They understand how hard it is to come in for your first session and how vulnerable you feel. Most likely, your counsellor is just simply proud of you for walking in through the door.
In summary, you cannot do your first session wrong! All you need to do is to simply show up and be yourself.
During the first session, your counsellor will do an assessment with you in order to get your sessions approved by ICBC. You will need to bring a doctor’s note stating that you would benefit from counselling related to your Motor Vehicle Accident if your accident has occurred previous to the last 3 months. You will also need to provide your counsellor with your adjuster’s email address. Most clients get approved for a minimum of 12 sessions over 3 months.
The first session is when the counsellor needs to meet with both guardians in order to get them to sign the consent form first. Counsellors are not allowed to see any child or youth unless both parents provide a written consent. In the first session, your counsellor will get a background from each parent individually and then briefly introduce the child to the room. For future sessions, the counsellor will work one on one with your child for four to six sessions before a parent session. During a parent session, the counsellors meets with one or both parents and shares her experiences of the child with the parents and provide them with some tools and support.
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