For a lot of people, seeking support for a substance use issue can be really daunting. If the prospect of reaching out makes you nervous, scared or embarrassed, you are not alone… You may be worried about sharing your story with a complete stranger, or concerned the counsellor may judge you. Maybe you’re worried about how much it’ll cost, or hopeful that the problem will sort itself out. Although these are normal thoughts and worries, they can get in the way of us reaching out!
Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about seeing a counsellor:
1. The fact you are even thinking about reaching out is really brave. It takes a lot of guts to seek help, so you’ve made an amazing first step.
2. Calling the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline can be a really good place to start (1800 250 015). This helpline can then discuss the different options available in your area. These lines are anonymous and confidential so you can share as much or as little as you like.
3. Another great way to start out is by jumping on our webchat – it’s also completely anonymous and confidential – so a great way to dip your toes into the world of counselling if picking up the phone is a scary prospect.
Maybe your worries are around what exactly will happen in that first appointment? That’s a really common concern! Although everyone experiences their first appointment a little differently, here are some ideas of what to expect in appointment number one:
1. Your counsellor will ask about what is going on for you and what your motivations are for seeking support
2. They will ask you a little bit about your history and what has led to your current substance use. They may even ask about your family history.
3. Maybe they will do an assessment with you – similar to the self-assessments we have on our website
4. They’ll discuss confidentiality and your right to privacy
No matter what’s going on for you, remember that it is really important to find a counsellor that you connect with and can trust. Some people have to try a few before you find one you click with – that’s pretty normal and can be part of the process.
What does everyone else think about reaching out for help?
What was your first appointment like?
Did you have to try a few before you found someone you connected with?
I’d love to hear about your experiences and any words of wisdom for the fellow members!
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