5 Questions You Can Expect from Your Mental Health Counselor


Especially this year, we’ve seen an increased focus on mental health and mental wellness. Thankfully, licensed healthcare professionals have been working hard to ensure that people experiencing the adverse effects of anxiety, depression or other mood disorders during this time receive the therapy they need.

If you’re considering seeking counseling help for any mental health challenges, you’ve already taken a major step toward managing the challenges you face. It’s natural to be nervous before your counseling session. To help mitigate your nerves ahead of time, we’ve outlined a few of the questions that your counselor will likely ask, either during your intake call or during one of the following sessions.

1. “Have you ever been to therapy or experienced a counseling environment before?”

This is one of the first questions you can expect to field from your therapist or counselor. Be prepared to share your experience – or lack thereof – with the therapy model. Don’t worry if you have little, or even no experience working with a therapist or counselor; they’re only trying to gauge your familiarity with the process, to help you craft accurate expectations from day one.

If you have experienced a therapist or a counseling environment before, once you share that information with your healthcare professional you will likely be asked a few follow-up questions. Your therapist will likely want to know what you thought of your experience and whether or not you feel you benefitted from past visits. In general, you can expect to answer questions about past therapy experience, especially if you’re at all familiar with the therapy environment. 

2. “What motivated you to attend therapy/counseling today?”

Your therapist will likely also want to know what drove you to attend therapy in the first place. Many individuals attending therapy are self-motivated: they have decided that for whatever reason, now is the time to improve self-confidence and peace of mind. Other individuals attend therapy on the recommendation of family members, close friends, coworkers, peers or other loved ones.

Your reasoning behind attending therapy or counseling tells your therapist a lot about you and your situation. This is their opportunity to learn more about your own motivations, and to grow even more familiar with the support system you have surrounding you.

3. “What does your home life situation look like?”

Our home life influences so much of who we are: it helps craft our personality, develop our tendencies, impacts the foods we eat and the people we spend our time with. A client’s home life can tell a therapist so much about their situation. Because of how important home life is in crafting each client into who they are, many therapists make it a priority to develop a comprehensive understanding of a client’s individual home situation.

Your therapist will also likely ask about the other individuals who share your home. Whether those are parents, siblings, children, grandparents, spouses, roommates or friends, the individuals we spend time with can heavily influence our decision-making. In order to get a better idea of the top influences in your home life, your therapist will likely ask you to explain details about your home life.

4. “What sort of symptoms are you currently experiencing?”

You’re likely already anticipating this question. If you’re seeking out therapy or counseling, you understand the benefits that mental health treatment can have on your daily life. No matter the mental health challenges you’re facing, no matter the symptoms you’re experiencing, counseling can help you manage symptoms effectively and reach the freedom you’re hoping to achieve.

Talking openly and honestly with your therapist about symptoms is the first step in getting the help you know you need.

5. “What do you hope to accomplish from therapy?”

Lastly, don’t be afraid to tell your therapist about your goals, not only for therapy but for your own life. After all, therapy can help you reach freedom and accomplish goals that seem far off. Whether you’re looking to achieve daily sobriety or open a business, let your therapist or your counselor know exactly what you hope to achieve from the therapy environment. Your expectations and your aspirations will help inform your therapist’s actions, and can help them tailor sessions specifically to help you pursue your own dreams.

Get the mental health help you need, today

Therapy can often mean the difference between taking positive, productive toward your goals, and regressing back toward self-destructive behaviors. Our licensed therapists at The Light Program have a demonstrated history of helping clients pursue their own aspirations, through outpatient mental health treatment that allows you to focus on hope, change and healing. Call (610) 644-6464, or contact us today to learn more about PHP, IOP and medication programs that can help you connect with a counselor and reach treatment goals.