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Expectations of Emotional Health Treatment

Jacob L. Comstock
By Jacob L. Comstock

In a prior recent article by Matthew Edrington, we learned the basics of what to expect in a therapy session. That article helped break down the stereotypes of what therapy is. This article will dig a little deeper into the expectations (or lack thereof) that we have when we go into a healthcare situation, and how we can work at shifting those expectations. Often, we avoid getting help whether it be for our physical, dental, or emotional health. In this article, I am going to use Emotional Health in reference to Emotional/ Mental/Behavioral Health (often used interchangeably). Expectations, or not knowing quite what to expect, about Emotional Healthcare are an interesting way we often set ourselves up to fail or avoid seeking help. The following should provide you with some expectations for what to expect so that your Emotional Health can thrive.

When you first arrive for an appointment to address your emotional health, there might be a bit of paperwork to fill out. Sometimes you might be able to fill out the information online prior to your appointment. You may feel a little overwhelmed, as some of the questions are more personal than for other healthcare appointments. This isn’t done to be nosy, but instead so that your provider can understand what is most important to you to work on. If you can come about 15 minutes early, it will give you a little extra time to complete necessary paperwork. This is especially important if you tend to feel overwhelmed, as the paperwork could take a little longer. In your first couple of sessions, you will complete an intake assessment addressing possible diagnosis(es) or characteristics that you will address by identifying your goals connected to your emotional health. Your behavioral health provider will assist with creating a treatment plan with objectives, so you are able to obtain your emotional health goals.

Your expectations are essential; you are the professional of you. It is crucial that your expectations are known, so if the professional you are working with cannot assist you, you are able to find one who can. As good of a therapist as I like to think I am, I know I may not be able to assist everyone, and that’s okay. You can always inform your therapist if something is or is not working so a change can take place, whether that is a change of treatment approach with your therapist or a change of therapist. As a therapist, I’m merely a sherpa to assist you with your journey. You are the explorer who knows the peak you are trying to conquer.

What are your Emotional Healthcare expectations? How do your Emotional Healthcare expectations impact you? Do you find yourself not expressing expectations or your needs, especially when you are speaking to professionals concerning your health? Remember, you are the professional of you and when you let others know your expectations, especially the emotional guides here to help you, you can only succeed.

– Jacob Comstock is a licensed clinical social worker at Health West in Pocatello, ID. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Idaho State University and a master’s degree in social work from Walla Walla University.



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