Tips to prepare for your first therapy session

Many people take months or even years to make up their minds and schedule their first counseling session. Once you have taken the big step and you are ready for your first appointment, it is natural to feel anxious or even intimidated. However, by preparing yourself better for the first appointment, you can manage your feelings well and make the most from your session with the counselor.

Set clear goals

Before you visit the counselor, make sure you know what you are seeking from the therapy. You cannot just go to the counselor and say that you want to feel better or more relaxed. Make a note of your exact goals and think of why you wanted to see a counselor in the first place. For example, your goal could be to overcome stranger anxiety due to childhood trauma or to panic less when appearing for interviews. These are just simple examples of how you should have precise goals in mind. The best thing to do is to make a list of things you would like to bring up in your first session. Make sure you communicate these goals clearly to your counselor so that the therapy is directed in the right direction.

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Are you a perfectionist?

The word PERFECT is often used as a complement. People often describe themselves as a perfectionist in job interviews. However, mental health practitioners are of the opinion that trying to be too perfect can be counterproductive.

Perfectionism is broadly defined as a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations.

Experts identify two sub-dimensions of perfectionism. The excellence-seeking perfectionism and failure-avoiding perfectionism. The former type of perfectionism involves tendencies to fixate on and demand very high standards. They strictly evaluate their own performance and hold high expectations for others as well. The latter type involves an obsessive aversion to failing to achieve high performance standards. They are constantly concerned and worried about their work not being good enough.

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Anxiety: How can counseling help?

We all feel anxious, unsettled, or fearful from time to time. Anxiety is a natural and normal reaction to stressful situations. However, for some people, this feeling is not temporary. They have persistent anxiety and it doesn’t get better on its own. It can severely impact their ability to function in school, at work, or in everyday social situations. Anxiety can also affect relationships and severely impact the quality of life.

If you too are suffering from obsessive thoughts, panic attacks, crippling phobia, or unrelenting worries, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, and affect 40 million adults age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population each year. Though, there are effective treatments for anxiety, only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

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Signs That You Need to See a Therapist

We all experience anxiety, stress, sadness, anger, mood swings, and other forms of emotional distress at some point in life. Most of the time, we are able to overcome these feelings and bounce back to normal life. However, some people are unable to overcome these emotions and may need some extra help to get their emotional and mental health back.

Counseling, also known as psychotherapy and talking therapy, is a process that involves a person talking with a trained professional about their mental health concerns or anything else that’s troubling them. Remember, therapy is not necessary for every little struggle you face in life, but it can be really helpful when you are unable to cope with your mental and emotional health issues. So, how do you know when it is time to see a counselor?

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Myriad benefits of Online Counseling in Covid Times

online Counseling

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes in our lives. Social
isolation, constant exposure to negative news, disrupted access to basic needs, loss of job
or income, illness or fear of illness, misinformation, and loss of loved ones has led to
increased levels of anxiety, stress and depression. Some people have resorted to alcohol
and drug abuse as a means to cope with the situation. Moreover, pandemic has created new
barriers for those already suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during June 2020, over
40 percent of American adults reported struggling with mental health issues or substance
abuse. Another study conducted over January to June 2019 revealed that 4 in 10 adults in
the US reported symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder.
With so much going on around the world, it is important to have a place to feel safe and
supported. Speaking with a counselor and discussing your fears and mental health concerns
can offer great benefits. Even with physical distancing guidelines in place, online counseling
can be an effective way to address mental health concerns. Let us find out the key benefits
of online counselling during these unprecedented times.


Online therapy is the perfect solution for people who don’t have easy access to a counselor
due to their location or lack of adequate transportation. With online counseling, they do not
have to travel long distances for a session. It is particularly helpful for those suffering from a
physical condition that limits their mobility. You also get access to specialists located
anywhere in the country. You don’t need to travel to another office or city to access a
particular specialist.


Under current circumstances, when anxiety and uncertainty are rampant, people with no
history of mental issues are also finding it hard to cope with the pandemic. They may be
unsure of where to find a counselor, or may be apprehensive or fearful of visiting a
counselor’s office. For such people (or for anyone else), online counseling may prove very
convenient. All you need is an internet connection and you can have a session with your
counselor at a mutually agreed upon time from the comfort of your home, office or dorm.


A lot of people miss their therapy sessions due to reasons like illness, bad weather, traffic or
fear of Covid infection. Online counseling is an effective solution to these hurdles and allows
patients to be more consistent with their therapy. This ensures better therapy outcomes.
Also, due to fewer logistical issues and hurdles such as taking time off work or having to
travel, patients are able to schedule more frequent sessions and hence, they are able to get
results faster.


A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in March 2020 focusing on the
differences in quality of interactions between face-to-face and telephonic psychotherapy
found there was little difference in terms of how effective the therapeutic relationship was,
the levels of empathy, how much clients disclosed, participation or attentiveness. Previous
studies have also shown that online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face sessions
especially in the long-term


Impact on COVID-19 Pandemic on Adolescent Mental Health

Covid-19 adolescent mental health

Covid-19 has impacted the lives of everyone around the world in an unprecedented manner. Most nations have adopted insolation and social distancing as strategies to prevent the spread of infection. Countries, including the United States, implemented lockdowns that resulted in closure of schools, educational institutions, sports facilities and activity areas were shut down. People could no longer socialize or travel. These circumstances lead to stress, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness and helplessness.

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