Going To Counseling For Bipolar Disorder? What You Can Expect
If you are a person who has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you may have been told by your medical team that you should really give counseling a try. Going to counseling can have many benefits when you are dealing with a condition like bipolar disorder (no matter which type of bipolar you are diagnosed with). Learn more about some of the things you can expect from counseling for bipolar disorder. Then, you can go into your counseling experience prepared for what is to come and ready to dive in and get started.
Be Prepared for Them to Make Their Own Assessments
Many counselors are licensed mental health professionals. This means that they too can make diagnoses of mental health conditions. While your counselor will most definitely believe you when you say you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, over time, they will want to make their own assessment of your mental health condition.
They will ask you questions initially pertaining to your symptoms, such as how you describe your highs and lows and what the main components of your mania or depression are. Stuff like that will help them better understand you and work toward their own determination of your mental health condition.
Some counselors may choose to do this assessment informally, meaning just asking you general questions like described above. Others may want you to fill out written assessments to determine your condition.
Be Prepared to Just Chat for a Few Sessions
Counselors come into the situation with a new client almost completely blind. As such, they will normally take the first session or two as a chance to really get to know you and the issues you are facing.
So, be prepared to just chat for the first few sessions of counseling. This chat will be guided by your counselor to stay on track with relevant topics to your bipolar disorder. However, you will not necessarily feel pressured to dive to deep into any single issue you have faced in your life during the first sessions.
This allows your counselor to get to know you enough to develop a treatment plan for you. It also builds communication between the two of you and helps you to feel more comfortable.
Once this relationship is developed, you can dive deep into traumas of your past or issues you are currently having with your bipolar disorder. Your counselor will also be able to provide you with exercises and materials to help you cope with those issues and begin the healing and treatment process in earnest.
Now that you know a bit more of what to expect from counseling for bipolar disorder, you can go in ready to handle your first session like a champ.