Next Session/ Worksheet

Next Session Worksheet

To be completed before every session for Focused Counseling.
(Keep for your notes- do not send to Jes)

1. Why exactly do I need this appointment now?

A. What are my focused questions for this session?

B. What new questions/reflections am I bringing today that are different from the last session?

C. If my needs/themes are the same as previous sessions:

      • Have I already dissected the issue to have a general understanding of why I am stuck?
      • Have I used all my tools and done everything suggested between my sessions to help myself?

2. What are my specific goals at this point in therapy?

A. What are my deeper core issues/fears that have been a pattern in my life and/or are surfacing now?

B. What will have changed in my life when I will feel I no longer need therapy, given that therapy is meant to be time-limited?

3. Exactly what actions am I working on outside my therapy sessions that is directly correlated with insights gained from therapy?

A. List concrete action steps/time frames necessary for each goal and track my consistency.

B. Have I tried to take more time between setting appointments to build my internal muscles and/or to wait until I actually need an appointment?

            C. Am I engaging in basic self-care?

      • CHEMICAL BEHAVIORS (i.e., affecting serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, heart rate, temperature, etc.):

*Enough sleep/Consistent sleep routine

*Healthy foods/Following dietary needs

*Reduce or eliminate depressants/sedatives (i.e., alcohol, sugar, excessive sleep/pain aides, etc.)

*Reduce or eliminate activators (i.e., caffeine, inflammatory foods, trigger foods, etc.)

*Consistent aerobic exercise/Physical therapy if needed

*Orgasms (masturbation/sex) & Cuddling 

                                      *Breathwork/Meditation

*Time in the sun/Steamroom/Cold shower-plunges

*Informative medical tests/Routine medical care

*If applicable, taking medications consistently and as prescribed

      • MEANING-INTENTION:

*Care for your physical body & physical living spaces (i.e., taking showers/brushing teeth, getting dressed/making your bed, going grocery shopping, cleaning/removing excessive clutter, personalizing/decorating, etc.)

*Balanced work/caregiving/play

*Responsible finances

*Getting off mindless screens

*Engaging nature & connection (i.e., sunshine/parks/ocean, pets/conversation, etc.)

*Creating or participating in a hobby/interest- instead of consuming entertainment

*Honest with yourself/boundaries around people/choices that are counter-productive to your mental health

*Living in integrity (i.e., speaking up, saying “no”, not apologizing for your needs, etc)

*Bowing down, listening or giving back to something bigger than yourself (i.e., prayer/meditation, journaling/art/hobby, volunteering/service, etc.)

3. Where am I struggling or blocked?

A. What actions/steps do I want to take, but I’m not ready to work on changing right now?

      • List them.  
      • What secondary gains am I getting by not changing right now?      

          B. What solutions have I already tried but didn’t work?

          C. What solutions am I unwilling to consider as an alternative way to feel better?    

4. If there are no major crises and there are no further changes I am ready to make between sessions, what am I getting out of therapy that is different than what I can get from a loved one/friend or self-work?

A. CONNECTION:  Have I tried to cultivate the level of transparency, depth, and safe space in my conversations with my support system, like I have with Jes?

      • Do I need to consider con-joint counseling at this point with a partner, parent/sibling/adult child, friend, colleague, etc.?

B. VALIDATION:  Do I need to work on trusting myself more?

      • Do I need to space out my appointments to practice doing so?

C. SELF CARE:  Do I need to transfer my energy/time/money that I’ve been putting into therapy appointments into appointments with myself for calm, cultivation (i.e., of a project/task), or joy?