ABH Maryland

How To Prepare Before Going To Therapy Counseling


How To Prepare Before Going To Therapy Counseling

  • Mental Health

4 Easy Steps for Reaching Your Mental Health Goals

Getting ready to start therapy counseling for you or your child? Here are some ways you can prepare for therapy counseling and mental therapy before your first session.

1. Determine your therapy counseling goals.

Before your first mental therapy session, think of what you want to get out of the process. This may seem difficult if you are feeling overwhelmed with the difficulties you or your family may be facing. However, pinpointing some of your desires and goals for mental therapy can help you and your counselor better understand how to conduct and plan your sessions.

Your goals may vary depending on the type of mental therapy you and your family receives. For example, if you or your child is receiving anger management counseling, your goal may be to have fewer temper tantrums or to understand the source of this anger.

2. Use journaling to prepare for mental therapy beforehand.

Before your session, think about what questions you have for the therapist. Consider any problems or difficulties you have had, what you have tried in the past, and any fears or concerns that bother you. Write these in a journal, whether that is a paper journal or a note on your phone. Bring this journal with you so you remember to bring up these questions or issues in your session.

It is also a good idea to use your journal to take notes during your therapy counseling session. You may want to write down any questions the counselor asks that you may not have an immediate answer for so you can think about them later.

3. Create a buffer of time before and after your therapy session.

You will want to give yourself plenty of time to get to your session, especially if you feel nervous about it. Taking some time beforehand can help you relax and gather your thoughts.

After your session, it is normal to feel emotionally drained or agitated. You may need some time to think and relax before going on with the rest of your day or evening. By giving yourself a buffer of time, you can reflect on your therapy counseling session.

4. Manage your expectations.

Setting goals is important, but so is setting expectations. It’s normal to feel like you did not make any progress during the first few sessions. In your first session, your therapist will need to gather a lot of information about you and your family to understand the challenges you face and how to approach them.

It is also important to remember that your therapist will offer advice and guidance, but they will do so in partnership with you and your family. Therapy will give good results only if you and your family are committed to doing your “homework” and practicing what you discuss in therapy counseling.

Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc. aims to provide programs that help address complex mental health needs for at-risk children, adolescents, and adults in Maryland. Our treatment approaches involve the whole family and include psychiatry, off-site counseling (including at a child’s home or school), on-site therapy, and therapeutic mentoring.

Our expert team of psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and nurse practitioners works with your family to establish goals for managing problems and creating an appropriate treatment plan. Counseling and therapy sessions take place in your home and in your child’s school, making it most convenient and consistent for you and your family, and allowing you to better prepare for each session. Take the first step in meeting your mental-health goals for you, your child, or your family. Contact Advanced Behavioral Health today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.