Your First Counseling Session

Citron Hennessey

When it comes to counseling services, one of the biggest hurdles many people face is preparing for their first session. This is especially true in Manhattan, where everyone is busy pursuing their dreams and keeping up with a life that never seems to stop moving. It can be difficult to take time to change for the better amidst this chaos.

At Citron Hennessey, we try to make it easy for our patients to fit counseling services into their busy lives and to feel comfortable about every therapy session they have with us. For that reason, today’s post will cover some basic ways to prepare for your first counseling session with one of our counselors. Read on to learn how to feel comfortable at your first session and discover how to get the most out of counseling.


In order to take some of the stress out of the process, it helps to first get logistical and financial matters out of the way. By taking a little time to ensure the session fits your schedule and figure out how much of the cost is covered by your insurance, you empower yourself to get the most out of your first experience with counseling at Citron Hennessey.

By simply calling us prior to your first session, our concierge can help ensure that all logistics are taken care of. Feel free to contact us today if you have any questions at all prior to your session. Our experts will help check mental health benefits with your insurance provider to determine any out-of-network services you may have. We check your benefits, file your claims, and collect reimbursements on your behalf. We will let you know what paperwork needs to be completed and what details need to be discussed prior to counseling so that you can spend your first session focusing on your mental health.


Keeping a journal is a fantastic way to prepare for a counseling session. This journal does not have to be a fancy, leather-bound book with dated entries and elegant prose. Simply writing your thoughts and feelings in a notebook will suffice. Don’t worry if you can’t lay your hands on one! Citron Hennessey provides a custom notebook to all new clients!

By keeping a journal, you give yourself the chance to start thinking about your mental health prior to your counseling session. Doing this will help you determine what you wish to get out of counseling services, clarify how you are feeling, and help you determine what things may be important to discuss in your sessions with our counselors. Journaling can be as simple as taking five minutes at the end of the day to collect your thoughts and jot them down in a way you will remember. A journal will also give your counselor a better idea of how your feelings, thoughts and behaviors occur throughout a week.


This step may go hand-in-hand with journaling and taking care of logistical details, but asking questions is another excellent way to prepare for your first session with a counselor from Citron Hennessey. Ask yourself questions, ask us questions, and unleash your inner curiosity. By asking questions, you get the chance to clarify your thoughts and share your concerns.

How are you feeling? What have you done well today? What things did you struggle to overcome? What are your goals? What would you like to achieve? What would you like more, or less, of? What is working? What isn’t? All of these questions can be beneficial things to ask. In order to feel comfortable in yourself prior to your first session, it is crucial to do some introspection. Remember, if you are curious about any part of the logistical process surrounding therapy, feel free to give us a call.


The patients that see the biggest benefits from counseling are the ones that fully integrate it into their lives. Don’t make counseling a second thought; your mental health is important! Block out time on your schedule around your session in order to prepare your thoughts and give yourself time to decompress.

By showing up early to your counseling session, you allow yourself time to adjust to the setting and take some stress out of the situation. Our elegant Madison Avenue location is designed to make you feel comfortable. Prior to your first session, take advantage of this space and give yourself time to collect your thoughts. Your session will be better because of it!


Although you should collect your thoughts prior to a session, be careful not to script out the session itself. During your session, let the mental health professional use their expertise and knowledge to guide the discussions that occur. There is plenty of time to cover the things you wish to talk about, and our counselors are trained in ensuring that you get the help you need from our services.

When you script a session in advance, you may close your mind off to some of the directions a counselor might wish to take the conversation. This restricts how effective therapy can be for you. Sessions are entirely confidential and counselors will not judge you for the things you say. Trust them to lead your conversation and get you the help you need. The uncertainty of where a conversation will lead is easier to bear if you avoid scripting the conversation in advance!


You only have one life to live; we would like to help you figure out how to live it well. Our team of counselors can help you upgrade your thinking and respond to the obstacles life throws at you in more positive ways.

It all starts with your initial counseling session!

Contact us today to book an initial in-person session. With private therapy from Citron Hennessey, you can begin to feel better. Take the first step today.

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