Your first mental health counseling session
Out of the Woods works hard to make certain the laws about mental health counseling are followed. The first few minutes of the first session will be focused on a variety of legal issues. It is critical you understand fully the limitations of confidentiality, the counselor’s abilities and limitations, and your financial responsibilities before the sessions start. Ask lots of questions if you do not understand.
Confidentiality is an important part of the mental health counseling. Confidentiality will be broken if you are suicidal or about to hurt someone else. Suspected child or elder abuse or neglect will also result in breaking confidentiality. Safety always comes first. We may also break confidentiality with your permission. This may also occur if you sign a written consent giving permission for the counselor to discuss issues with courts, schools, employers, family members, and the like.
Cyndy Adeniyi is licensed in Georgia as a professional counselor and is able to treat mental health and behavorial health problems. She is not able to provide prescriptions or medical opinions. Her doctorate degree is in ministry with a concentration in family therapy. While she treats a wide range of mood and behavior disorders in addition to relationship concerns, there are some topics beyond her education and the scope of her practice. Prior to the first appointment, intake paperwork will help determine if a referral to another practictioner is needed.
Fees are discussed in advance to prevent any surprises the day of the appointment.
And now the real session begins.
The first counseling session is often more like an interview than a traditional therapy or counseling appointment. Expect a lot of questions including questions that seem foreign to the reason you came. There will be a lot of questions about why you came, your emotional experiences, and your family background. Do not be surprised by questions about sleeping and eating habits, substance use, medications, religious beliefs, hobbies, career goals, support systems, education, legal history, or favorite movies. While many of these things may seem unrelated to the problem you are most concerned about, they may be important in developing a diagnosis or a course of treatment.
The first appointment should be considered as time of discovery as opposed to a time of healing. It is important to have a thorough understanding of problem.
All good things must come to an end. Often the first session flies by. You'll be provided a homework assignment and a follow up appointment. That's it. You did it.