Seeking Counseling or Therapy

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Individual counseling involves talking about your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and the things that are troubling you. Your counselor or therapist will work with you to set goals, identify the things you would like to accomplish and strategies to help you reach your goals. For more info, check out a few of these resources.

Asking questions.  The time you spend with your counselor or therapist is valuable, so it’s O.K. to ask any questions you might have about how therapy works. It’s also fine to ask your counselor about his or her experience and background and approach to counseling.

Deciding to continue your therapy.  Within the first few sessions, you need to decide whether you want to continue seeing your counselor or therapist. You will only have your own impressions to rely on. Make sure you feel comfortable enough with the person you are seeing. If your counselor or therapist does anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, talk to someone you trust about it. For information about who else you could talk with, you may want to check out the Get Help section of the site.

Paying for services.  Before you have your first appointment, it’s a good idea to be clear about how much the counseling session will cost or whether the service is free. For more information on how to pay for services see the Paying for mental health services fact sheet.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at, a website that helps teens get through tough times. 

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