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How to Get the Most from Your Counseling Experience

You're in counseling; make the most of it! 

Define your goals. Talk with your counselor about what you want to accomplish in counseling. Together you can work out a plan to address your concerns and be sure that your counseling stays on track.

Show up! Commit to attending your appointments. If you often skip sessions or arrive late, talk with your counselor about what might be going on. Are you avoiding painful topics? Is there something about counseling that feels uncomfortable? Do you truly have the space, time, and energy for counseling right now?

Share your feelings. If you feel uncomfortable or frequently hold back in your sessions, talk about this with your counselor. Together you can work on whatever issues are getting in the way.

Expect to be uncomfortable. Be willing to sit with discomfort or painful feelings as you work on the issues that brought you to SCS. This is crucial to the process of change.

Be active. Counseling requires active work in and out of sessions. Don’t expect your counselor to take the lead or simply give you lots of advice; although it might feel reassuring, it is almost never useful in the long run and will not help you meet your goals. Set aside time to think about what you experience and learn in your sessions. Try to apply what you're learning and then talk with your counselor about how this is going.

Give yourself a break. You may feel that you shouldn't be in counseling or that your problems are small compared to those of others. Remember that your problems don't need to be catastrophic for you to benefit from counseling. In fact, counseling is most helpful if you start before your problems get out of hand.