Ask Tatiana: What is a first session like? Do you go in with a “problem?” Who starts talking? 

Natalie Stadnick-Uhl from Atlanta Specialized Care gives some tips about counseling sessions:

While it can vary some between counselors — everyone has a different style — the first session is usually an “intake” session. You’ll fill out forms either in the office or prior to the appointment explaining any medical or social history that you’d like to share and be provided with information about limits to confidentiality. 

The intake session is often more directed by the counselor asking questions, though if you have a particular concern or problem you should absolutely bring it up! Likely, they’ll ask something along the lines of: “So what brings you in?” Or: “What spurred you to make this appointment?” Clients will have a range of responses to this — some people make an appointment because of a particular incident or situation that’s bothering them. Other people choose to go to counseling because they have something more general they would like to work on: ie “I feel anxious”; “I’m having trouble motivating myself”; “I want to be more comfortable in relationships with others.”

It’s important to know that the first few sessions, you’re deciding whether the counselor is a good fit for you. Do you feel relatively comfortable talking with this person? Or does the counselor annoy the heck out of you? If the latter, find a new one. Just like with other relationships, not every one works out and that’s ok. But, when it “clicks” you have an awesome opportunity for personal growth!

Natalie Stadnick-Uhl, MDiv
Atlanta Specialized Care


Dunwoody Office
1730 Mount Vernon Road
Suite G
Dunwoody, GA 30338