Preparing for my day as professional mental health counselor takes time. When I am leaving work at the end of a busy day, I always take the time to look at my schedule for the next day. The first thing I do to prepare for my job the next day is to look at my schedule to see with whom I will be meeting with, and the time schedule for my first and last appointment. I familiarize myself with the clients I will be working with, and pull each clients file to refresh myself on our last session. This is necessary for me to prepare for the appointment. It is important for me to be prepared and show my client that I am in tune to what is going on with them. I used to do all this first thing in the morning but I have found that it works better for me if I do it at the end of my day. My being prepared helps me to give the client my full attention and helps the client to gain confidence in my abilities. It helps personalize the session between me, as the counselor, and them as the client. Upon walking into my office each day, I arrive an hour before my first appointment is scheduled to arrive. This helps give me a chance to relax, and prepare myself for the session. It is also important for me that I meet with each client on time and end the session on time. This is how I show respect to those I am working with. Another rule of thumb is to always keep thirty minutes open between appointments. I work and eight hour day with an hour lunch, so normally I schedule four to five clients a day. My first scheduled appointment always begins at nine a.m. and my last one is scheduled for three p.m. This allows me to go to work at eight a.m. and be free from four to five p.m. before leaving, so that I can prepare for the next day. Each session is approximately one hour long in duration.
When someone asks me how being a mental health...