Prepare for Your Appointment
This page provides helpful information and tips to assist you
with understanding and preparing for your first visit with a
counselor. By knowing what to expect and being prepared, you will
more likely get the help you want and feel more at ease. Here are
Consider the Counselor a Resource
Some people may feel uneasy or embarrassed about seeing a
counselor for personal problems. However, nearly everyone is faced
at some time with challenges that are difficult to resolve
independently. Seeking assistance for personal problems is
just as important as receiving assistance for medical
Having personal problems doesn't mean "I'm crazy" or having a
"nervous breakdown" or "I'm a failure." Quite to the contrary,
seeking assistance with a problem is usually a prudent and wise
step and a sign of personal strength.
All services are provided in strict confidence. The personal
information that you share with your counselor is confidential and
not shared outside the program unless you sign a release of
information of ir law requires disclosure.
How Counseling Sessions Can Help
Counselors are available to assist you with a wide variety of
situations. The counselor will help you
- clarify a problem -- assess and evaluate
- develop an action plan -- identify steps to
resolve the situation.
- handle a crisis -- help you sort through your
- resolve a problem -- many concerns can be
resolved quickly, in just a few sessions. Your counselor can work
with you to reach these short term treatment goals.
- engage in a treatment process -- the counselor
will help you resolve more complex issues requiring extended
What to Bring to the First Session
- Written list of questions. Write down your
questions and concerns and bring the list with you. Sometimes it's
hard to remember all the problems or issues, especially in a new
- Notes about problem. Bring any notes,
documents, or records that will help you remember and describe the
problem to the counselor.
- History of problem. Include how long you've
had the problems. Also include similar problems you've had in the
past and how you've resolved them.
- Medication. Bring all current medications with
the pharmacy label if possible. It will help your counselor provide
a more complete evaluation.
- Significant others. Where appropriate, bring
family members or other significant people who are involved with
the problem to the first session.
Understand the Session Process
- Environment. A counselor's office is typically
a private office in an accessible location. The office will be
comfortable, quiet and designed for private conversions.
- Assessment. You will be asked to fill out some
forms. The counselor will ask you some questions to better
understand your concerns and talk with you about available
- Referrals. The counselor may refer you to
specialists or other clinicians.
What to Expect When You Call Your Behavioral Health
We want it to be as simple as possible for you to get the care
your need. Reaching a therapist for behavioral health concerns may
mean leaving a message and waiting for the therapist to return your
During business hours, therapists are seeing members. They may
not be able to answer their phone when you call. Leave a message
and wait for a return call. Within 24 hours, your call will be
returned. If the therapist does not return your call, contact
Magellan at 1-800-424-4399 or TTY 800-424-4416. Additional
instructions may be included in the therapist's message when you
call such as a pager number or what to do if you call is an