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What's It Like? ... To go to counseling

Generally, people seek out counseling when they're having trouble managing their daily lives.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: October 14, 2012

Why go to counseling?

Several million people in the U.S. receive treatment for various reasons each year.

Generally, people seek out counseling when they're having trouble managing their daily lives. Most people are able to manage their life with their current social support systems, but for some, the stress and anxiety of life can become overbearing.

Some seek counseling for past trauma. Some go to better understand how to best relieve stress and anxiety in their lives. Others go as a couple to improve relationships or marriages. Substance abuse is also another reason to seek counseling.

Many insurance providers will cover therapy, and some work places contract with therapists to offer free counseling services to their employees.

If you are uninsured or underinsured, there are resources available in Oklahoma. You can contact the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to find out what's available to you in the county where you live. Also, if you're a college student, many universities offer free or discounted counseling for their students and will bill your bursar account with a nonspecific health charge.

What happens when I go to counseling?

During your first visit, known usually as an intake assessment, you will be asked to fill out a few forms and then asked a series of questions. You might be asked about the reason you came in and what seems to be bothering you.

You likely will be provided a diagnosis and scheduled an appointment for a time that's most convenient for you.

Therapists are trained in a specific way of talking to people. The dialogue is different from talking with friends or families. It will be a discussion about you and will seek to find specific reasons you're experiencing difficulty in your daily life.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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