This week’s Blog article was written by me, your host, Nicholas Smith. As I walk through the waiting room at Heritage, I’m reminded that coming to counseling can be an intimidating thing. I wrote this post to give people an idea of what counseling is like in a general way, to help ease the nerves a bit.

Coming to see a counselor for the first time can be and often is a nerve racking experience. This is a totally natural reaction. It doesn’t always feel normal to tell a complete stranger the details of your life that are difficult to share, even with those you are closest with. You don’t have to share everything all at one time. Share as you feel comfortable to do so. Also, therapy in our society is an experience often shrouded with mystery and lots of misconceptions.

So what can one expect when walking through the doors here at Heritage or similar counseling centers? First there is a waiting room of some sort, fashioned similarly to your doctor’s office. When it's time for your appointment, your therapist will come greet you in the waiting room and then bring you back to their office.

What should one expect during their first interaction with a therapist? The first session is often considered a "Diagnostic Evaluation." That's a fancy way of saying that the therapist is going to want to hear your story about what brought you to counseling at this particular point in time. It will be a time for the therapist to get to know you and for you to get to know your therapist.

At Heritage, you can find out about our counselors before meeting with them here:

Going to counseling can seem like a scary step into the unknown. Your therapist is merely a guide to help you through the journey of your life, not an angry authority figure ready to judge you. At Heritage, we feel honored to be here for you and help during this time of life.

By: Nicholas Smith, MA, LPC