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  • Tammi Imel

What should I expect in a counseling or therapy session?

Many persons who are thinking of seeking counseling are curious about what happens in a therapy or counseling session. I can't speak for all therapists, but this is what to expect with me as your counselor.

Respect and Acceptance--Always. Persons seeking counseling are vulnerable emotionally. I understand and respect your emotional state, and provide a respectful, non-judgmental space for you to be vulnerable, share, and heal.

You are the Expert on Your Life. As such, compassionate inquiry will often result in guiding us on pathways to your healing.

Permission at Every Step. From topics that we discuss, to techniques, to treatment plans--all are a collaborative effort between you and I. We only explore areas and plan treatment strategies that you are on board with, understand, and want to pursue.

Reviewing Your History. You will complete an intake form that asks about your biopsychosocial history. That's psychobabble for your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual history. If you are uncomfortable talking about certain parts of your history, or disclosing certain information, we wait to discuss those things until trust is firmly established and you are ready to discuss them.

The Legal Stuff. Our first session, we will have to discuss ethical and legal information that is required by law and by professional standards of care / ethics. You will receive a copy of this information prior to our first session.

What Do Counselors Write Down While I'm Talking? This can cause anxiety on the part of the client, but there is no reason to worry. We document the start and stop time of the session, words or phrases that you say and we want to remember to follow up on, a therapeutic technique or idea, information we want to be sure to share, or other items that we want to remember to discuss with you. If I am writing, it means I am actively listening to you and planning your care.

Session Flow. The first few minutes of each session, we are catching up and reviewing your week. We then transition to the working phase of the session, where we actively engage in therapy techniques and conversations to move you forward. The last few minutes of each session is spent wrapping up, discussing work for you to do prior to in the coming days, and re-scheduling our next session.

I hope this post has helped you feel more at ease in seeking therapy. I hope to see you soon in session! You can schedule directly by clicking the link at the page header, or calling me at 765.703.2720.

All good things,


Tammi Imel, MA, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

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