The following is a blog post from MHCGR member Johanna Bond, featured on The Huffington Post.
Johanna Bond, LMHC, NCC, is a licensed mental health counselor and a writer. Ms. Bond explores the interaction between mental and physical health, both personally and professionally. As a counselor, she works in private practice at Perspectives Mental Health Counseling (www.perspectivesroc.com). She hosts a blog on The Huffington Post, as well as www.startingfromscratch.me. She is currently writing her first book about rising to the challenge of a severe food allergy diagnosis. Johanna is an active member of the MHCGR and also serves as the chapter secretary.
First Day of Therapy? Know This.
To my clients on the first day of counseling:
Coming in to counseling is a difficult thing to do for many people. You are trusting another person with your troubles, with your personal opinions and your private relationships. There are a lot of questions that may be lingering in your mind when you walk through my door, and some of them I may be able to answer.
I speak for myself, and not necessarily all therapists. As a licensed mental health counselor, here is what I want you to know when you come into counseling for the first time.
1. I’m not here to judge you.
The judgments, or fears about judgments, that you bring into this room are your own. It’s not my job to judge you – in fact, my job is to do the exact opposite. You tell me your deepest darkest secrets, and look at my face for judgment. My job is to accept you as a human being, and to show you that in my office, you are enough. You may have struggles, you may have been told you’re not enough, you may not like parts of yourself. My job is to sit with you, with all of it. And to hope that you can take a piece of that enough-ness with you when you leave.
2. You may not be showing me your best side. I know that.
Usually when we meet people for the first time, we want to show our best side. In counseling, we do the opposite. (to read the rest of this article, please click here)