It's normal to feel nervous for your first counselling appointment. In fact, those nerves might stick around for the first session or two. Talking to a stranger can be uncomfortable for some people, but those anxious feelings tend to diminish pretty quickly once you've met your counsellor, taken care of a few particulars, and settled into the room.
So, what can you expect to happen on your first visit? Well, the first thing your counsellor will do is go over an intake form. This standard form will ask for things like your address and emergency contact, any medications, and maybe how you heard of your counsellor. Secondly, you'll go through the consent and confidentiality form with your counsellor so that you are fully aware of the treatment your counsellor is providing, and the limits he or she must adhere to legally. You'll sign these forms and talk about any questions or concerns you may have.
After you've completed these forms, the first session is designed to get to know you. At your own pace, you and your counsellor may discuss your family of origin, employment, relationships, history of challenges, strengths. But most importantly, you'll want to talk to your counsellor about what brought you in. From there, you'll explore your goals for therapy and what you hope to achieve along the way.
Before you know it, that first session is over, and hopefully your counsellor has given you some homework!