two people talking over coffee

My First Appointment

If you haven’t connected with a psychologist or counsellor before, you might be a little unsure what to expect in your first appointment. To help you prepare and feel at ease, here’s a heads up on what you might chat about during the session.

A typical session will include three stages.

The first stage is an introduction.

This is where your counsellor or psychologist will talk you through the confidentiality and consent process they work within. This will cover your rights within the session and the limits of your counsellors’ work – that is, the things they can help you with, and the things they are not able to help with. You’ll then move on to discussing a plan to meet your needs.

This discussion may include questions such as: 

  • What brings you to counselling? 
  • What concerns would you like to address? Is it a lack of sleep, a low mood, higher levels of stress, a significant life event? 
  • Is your health, relationships or work affected by what’s going on right now?  
  • What has helped you work through this in the past?

The second stage is assessment.

Once you have established the reason you’re seeking support, the session will move into assessing your individual circumstances. Your psychologist or counsellor wants to help you achieve your goals or outcomes, and they will ask questions to help build an understanding of your situation.

They will listen to everything you have to share. They may ask questions (or provide you with a questionnaire) to bring all the details into the picture. This will help them to identify what resources and tools may best suit your individual needs, personality, and lifestyle.

The session finishes with goal setting.

The final stage of a session is goal setting. With the guidance of your mental health professional, you’ll identify something specific which can be achieved through your sessions. These goals should be clearly defined, measurable and realistic.

Having goals in place will help guide your future sessions, as you develop learning strategies and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the situations you are facing.

Remember to keep in mind that talking with a counsellor or psychologist is not a ‘fix’ because you are not ‘broken’. Successful counselling or psychology sessions will provide you with the resources and tools to help you navigate the ups and downs of life. 

If you would like to chat with us about accessing some support, get in touch with our team. Give us a call, send a text or an email and our team will talk with you. We can discuss the support options available and answer your questions. If you feel comfortable, we can help you set up your first appointment with one of our mental health and wellbeing team.

Click to download these helpful resources:

If you’d like to find out more about Outback Futures telehealth, call or text 0417 703 729 to chat or make an appointment. Find our Upcoming Clinics here.

For 24/7 crisis support, call Lifeline 13 11 14. In an emergency or life threatening situation, please call 000.

Explore more

Dec 2020 Longreach Agi DSC_8963

Feeling connected with others at Christmas


Understanding self harm for parents and carers


Stronger Relationships: Navigating life with your family 

share this page