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Your First Appointment In The Mental Health Field

Denver, Colorado Mental Health Providers In Denver, Colorado, Denver County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, Centennial, Greenwood Village, Littleton, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Parker and Castle Rock.Your first visit is an evaluation session, allowing the counselor to obtain information and psychosocial history in order to formulate a plan. At times a follow-up session is needed to complete this evaluation. There are many questions that come to the client's mind relating to therapy. The following provides clarification on some of these questions and how to prepare for your first visit.

Types of Therapy

There are many types of therapeutic modalities, i.e., cognitive, behavioral, psychoanalytical, Gestalt, reality, etc. The list is exhaustive. Therapy is essentially a relationship between the client and therapist, regardless of the therapist's discipline and beliefs. As the client, you are responsible for deciding the ultimate course of action, and whether you feel comfortable with the modality offered to you by your therapist. Ask your therapist about their philosophy and the expectations they have of you.

What if I Don't Like the Therapist?

In the event you are not happy with your therapist, you need to initiate change at the onset. At times, as your plan progresses, you may feel uncomfortable or sometimes angry with your therapist. This is quite normal as you reveal your thoughts and feelings. Discuss this with your therapist and let it be part of your counseling visit. It is therapeutic and helps with the healing process. Do not feel embarrassed or guilty. The issues that are making you upset could be quite therapeutic. If tension is highly severe and cannot be resolved, you may want to change the therapist.

What Do I Need to Bring to the First Session?

bullet You may want to write down notes and make a list of issues, concerns, and questions.  List your symptoms.
bullet If you have medical records from other behavioral or medical clinicians, you may want to bring those with you.
bullet School records, testing evaluations, and other material if the client is a child.
bullet History of problems; when they began and whether they have occurred in the past.
bullet List of medications, if any.
bullet You may want to bring your significant other with you if they are involved in your plan.
bullet When in doubt, or if you feel overwhelmed in preparing, just come in as you are and let the therapist ask you the questions.  You'll be amazed at the amount of in depth information your therapist can get on the first visit.
bullet The main emphasis of the first visit is on current symptoms and problems.  Your past history can be discussed later.
It is Embarrassing to Talk to a Stranger!

Consider your counselor as a source of information and guidance. Treat them the same way you treat your personal physician. Remember, healthy people do not necessarily lead trouble-free lives. Healthy people do know when something is wrong and take the first step to find a solution. Seeing a therapist does not mean you are a failure or acting crazy. To the contrary - it is a sign of maturity, not weakness.

What Happens During the First Session?

The counselor asks you specific questions regarding symptoms, onset, and etiologies. They will obtain a social history, summarize what you talked about, establish a plan, and recommend a course of action. If more time is needed, a follow-up session is scheduled to obtain more information and the counselor will either schedule future appointments to continue with your plan, or refer you to another therapist. When you first come in, prior to the beginning of your session, you will complete forms and sign the consent for therapy. There are forms that must be completed and the Consent for Therapy must be signed for you or your dependent. If the patient is a minor, the legal guardian needs to sign the Consent for Therapy. Bring with you legal documents showing proof of guardianship.

If you have any further questions about your first appointment in the mental health field please contact us by calling LSBI at (888) 516-5995.




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Serving The Greater Denver, Colorado Area
Including Denver County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Arapahoe County
Centennial, Greenwood Village, Littleton, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Parker and Castle Rock, Colorado
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