Is It Time to See a Mental Health Therapist?


We know making the first steps in setting up an appointment with a therapist can seem daunting. Instead, we want you to feel empowered and relieved knowing we have therapists that can suit your needs and help you through your journey to feeling more at peace.

Here are some of the common questions patients ask before visiting our Centers:

  • I’ve never been to a therapist, what should I expect during an appointment?
  • Why would I choose to make an appointment with one of your therapists? Will there be one that I connect with?
  • What are some common physical symptoms someone might show when stressed, sad, or nervous?

Have no fear, we are going to answer all of these questions to ensure your first visit to us will lead to a more rewarding and peaceful holiday season.


Let’s discuss expectations during your appointment:

Chris Remy, LISW (Licensed Independent Social Worker), explains the first session is designed to get to know the individual and reasons why you are seeking counseling. The focus is asking questions designed to learn about you, your mental health history as well as beginning the process of establishing a positive therapeutic relationship. There is an opportunity for you to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have regarding the therapeutic process as well.

Paul Hart-Ruthenbeck, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counseling lllexplains that you should be prepared to answer many personal questions, in a safe and confidential atmosphere. You will be asked to be honest with your therapist and more importantly with yourself. This will be a safe environment for you to talk about your chemical health issues with absolutely no judgement. You will receive education on coping skills and chemical health as a disease. 

Lauren Sanders, LSW (Licensed Social Worker), shares that the first couple of appointments together are a bit different than those to follow. In your initial meeting she asks questions to learn all about you and what brought you in for counseling. Together, in the next session, you both create a personalized plan to meet the goals you have for your mental and emotional health. Moving forward you can expect to receive a listening ear and helpful tools that act as a boost and guide to achieving wellness. 

Dawn Priest, LISW (Licensed Independent Social Worker), explains the assessment is typically information gathering from early childhood on and of course why you have made the appointment. She gathers individual and family history. She looks for abuse and trauma history as well as environmental factors that may have contributed to the problems or needs you identify. She also identifies protective factors. The initial assessment also includes building rapport and trust with you, the patient.

Stacy Gilley, LISW (Licensed Independent Social Worker), feels the most important role of a therapist is to establish and maintain a healthy relationship with you in order to assist and guide you with the development of a healthier mindset and lifestyle.  Initially, historical information is gathered to help you create personal goals for yourself and to outline your treatment strategies. The frequency and duration of appointments are determined as a partnership between you and your therapist.


Why choose to make an appointment with one of our therapists? You are…

  • Searching for unbiased support in improving daily functioning and improving your self-worth.
  • Wanting to decrease symptoms of anxiety, depressions, loss, grief, or trauma.
  • Looking for a relaxed counseling environment and creating a positive therapeutic relationship for your healing process.
  • Working through a variety of needs dealing with divorce, attention, focus, self-esteem, life changes, anger management, and more.
  • Seeking chemical health treatment and recovery.
  • Trying to find someone with experience to help you, your children, or your family.

Our therapists have a wide range of skills and experience, and we are positive one of them will be able to give you the help you need.

A breakdown of some symptoms you may be experiencing due to stress, sadness, nervousness or other mental health concerns.

Any of these symptoms are something to pay attention to and discuss with your therapist.

  • Fatigue
  • Irritable, tense, anxious
  • Nausea
  • Loss of/or increase of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping more
  • Tightness in stomach
  • Clenched hands or jaw
  • Increased heart rate
  • Thoughts of going back to using drugs or alcohol
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Feeling isolated or alone
  • Sweating or heavy breathing without exercise
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Panic attacks
  • Crying

We work with people of all ages and backgrounds. Making an appointment with one of our therapists means you are choosing to work together to take actionable steps to improve your wellbeing for now, and for your future! 

If you feel our Centers might be a good fit for your therapeutic needs, let’s connect! Give us a call at 740-399-8008, so we can schedule you with one of our incredible, helpful therapists.


Information courtesy of the Knox County Community Health Center