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Your First Appointment

Even with roots in the dirtiest water, the lotus grows into a beautiful flower.

What to expect at your first appointment.

Congratulations! Committing to your mental health is a courageous and worthy investment in becoming your best self. To help you feel at ease, here’s a general outline of what to expect at your first session.

1. Choose your location—3 options.

For added convenience, Paramount Counseling Services (PCS) offers appointments at our offices, in your home, or via a secure telehealth video session. Appointments run 50 minutes and are confidential. If we meet in PCS offices, it’s a private room that looks like a comfy office.

2. Hello. What brings you here today?

Our time together is really just a conversation to find out what it is that brought you through our door. It’s okay if you aren’t exactly sure. And it’s normal if you’re a little nervous. We’ll review the intake paperwork you shared in advance of the appointment, and I’ll ask questions that will help you name your struggles. We’ll also discuss goals for your mental health.

3. Not a “Clipboard Counselor.”

Sure, I might take a few notes, but I don’t hide behind a clipboard filling in forms or making assessments. We are just getting to know each other to determine if we’re a good fit. My goal is that you feel welcome and comfortable to move ahead together. But keep in mind, you might feel a little uncomfortable because, after all, you’re here to talk about difficult things. You won’t hurt my feelings if you decide you’d rather pursue another counselor. You might have a feeling after our initial time or it could take a few appointments.

4. Our time is up.

As our 50-minute session winds down, I’ll ask if you have any questions for me. Then we’ll discuss our next appointment, and you can be on your way.

Questions to consider.

Before your first appointment, take a few minutes to consider these questions. Don’t worry—there won’t be a test and there are never any “right” or “wrong” answers. They are just meant to prompt you to begin the self-reflection process.

  • What are your greatest hopes? Fears? Dreams? Disappointments? Regrets?
  • Why now? If you’ve struggled with an issue in your past, why are you seeking help this time?
  • Are there any recent changes in your life? Work? Relationships? Birth or Death?
  • What does healthy “look” like to you?