We at Mindpath Health are always looking for new ways to work towards destigmatizing mental health in our world, whether that be through blogs, videos, or social media. Keeping that in mind, we decided to venture into podcasts, to bring you the voices of our providers and to talk about important mindcare topics.

Below you’ll find the first episode of our new podcast, “Let’s Talk Mindcare” with provider Julie Killion, LCMHC. We hope you enjoy!




Read the Transcript:

Trent Brown: [00:00:04] Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk Mindcare, a podcast brought to you by Mindpath Health. MindPath is one of the largest outpatient mental health organizations in the southeast U.S. with over 25 locations and more than 180 providers. For the past 25 years, we have helped tens of thousands of patients across North Carolina. And now we’ve created this podcast to further commit ourselves to ending the stigma and continuing the conversation around mental health through discussions with real mental health professionals. Please note that while the podcast will include accurate information with professional input, it is not intended as a replacement for medical advice from licensed providers. To receive such advice, please contact MindPath Care C enters at mindpathcare.com or call us at eight, seven, seven, eight, seven, six, three, seven, eight, three and we will connect you with a professional who can further assist you. We hope you enjoy the episode.

Trent Brown: [00:01:04] Hi there, my name is Trent Brown, and I’m one of your hosts for the Let’s Talk Mindcare podcast, I’m joined today by Julie Killion, one of our wonderful licensed clinical mental health counselors. Julie, if you want to take the floor, just, you know, tell us about your background and why you became a mental health provider.

Julie Killion: [00:01:21] Absolutely. So my background, I have a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in clinical mental health counseling. I’m a licensed clinical mental health counselor, a licensed clinical addiction specialist and national certified counselor. I have worked with adults and children in outpatient settings, inpatient settings and emergency services, treating both mental health and substance abuse disorders. So I first fell in love with psychology in high school in my AP psych class, I find humans fascinating, especially how our brains work. I absolutely love my job, and it’s really an honor to be able to walk with people on their journey of changing their life. It’s so very rewarding.

Trent Brown: [00:02:13] Yeah, yeah, definitely, I can imagine just being a part of this organization and getting to meet you and a bunch of other providers, everybody seems like you know, super grateful that they get to be a part of someone’s journey to feel better and everything. It’s awesome. So we’re going to keep these questions pretty simple. You know, I kind of just want to talk about,for people who don’t know that much about therapy and,you know, mental health counseling and things like that. So my first question is, can you kind of tell us what happens in a first session and what a person can expect from therapy?

Julie Killion: [00:03:00] Sure. So the first session is what we call an assessment or an evaluation. First, just like with anything, you’ll fill out some paperwork with your basic information and then agree to participate in the first session, what also happens is before getting started, you are informed of confidentiality. That’s a really big thing in therapy and its limitations just so that there are no surprises before getting started. Then we listen to your story and ask a bunch of questions. We want to know why you decided to schedule the appointment, get your history, learn about what you would like to work on and things like that. It’s really important to know, too, that this is also a time for the client to get to know the therapist. So during the first appointment, I tell clients who I am, what I do and what they can expect in a therapeutic relationship with me. Then if a client decides to pursue therapy with me, we talk about how often, how to contact me, basic housekeeping, things like that.

Trent Brown: [00:04:13] Yeah, yeah, definitely awesome. So kind of taking a short step back before the first session, could you tell me any tips if someone is anxious about making an appointment or after they’ve made the appointment, if they’re the kind of have some jitters around the first session, you know, some tips to help that.

Julie Killion: [00:04:33] Absolutely. So most people are nervous about the first session. That’s totally normal. Remember that the first appointment is just getting to know each other. So this includes not only the therapist getting to know the client, but also the client learning about the therapist and what you can expect from therapy. It’s really a time for you to ask questions and address any concerns that you might have. It’s really not a dive into deep therapy. It’s just getting to know each other questions, things like that. A good tip is to write things down. If you think that you’ll get nervous and forget an important question of important concern, or just forget to bring up something in general, then writing it down before the session can be really helpful. Also, it’s important to know that we’ve heard it all. There’s nothing that you’re going to say that’s going to surprise us. Our job includes helping people navigate all sorts of difficulties. So chances are it’s not the first time that we’re helping somebody deal with a particular issue.

Trent Brown: [00:05:44] Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I think it is really helpful to kind of understand that the first session is really, you know, a getting to know you thing. And, you know, you can kind of feel it out when you’re there, whereas, you know, you don’t feel like you you’re taking on something so huge.

Julie Killion: [00:06:03] Exactly.

Trent Brown: [00:06:04] Yeah. Awesome. So you’ve kind of talked about it a little bit, but could you tell me a little bit about, you know, what a person should think about when they’re looking for the right provider and you know about finding the right person to help you with your journey?

Julie Killion: [00:06:20] So I encourage everyone to do a little bit of research before choosing a therapist. So at MindPath, we have a really great website where all of our providers have a short bio and they have their specialties listed. You really want to make sure that the provider you choose seems like somebody who would be able to meet your needs. So, for example, if you’re looking for a specific type of therapy, which some people are like dialectical behavioral therapy, you want to make sure that the provider is actually trained in that modality before scheduling an appointment. You can always call the therapist or you can call the intake department to check on that. But that’s a really good first step about finding that right provider. And you may not know what you need, and that’s fine, too. But if you have an idea, just making sure that the therapist specialties matches up with that. And once you have scheduled the appointment and you have the first session, the next advice I usually give to people is to make sure you actually like your therapist. Not all personalities are going to click and that is totally OK. Is perfectly fine to shop around for a provider who is a great fit for you. You want to feel completely comfortable with that person in order for a therapy to be the most effective. So if you have that first session and you’re really like, yeah, I don’t know if this person is offering what I’m looking for or I don’t know if I’m completely comfortable with this person, that’s OK. But it’s really fine to address those concerns and then look for another provider. That’s something that a lot of people aren’t aware of.

Trent Brown: [00:08:03] Awesome.Yeah, definitely. And I just want to add, you talked about a little bit, but, you know, if you’re listening to this and you’re curious about our website and, you know, searching for someone to be your therapist or a provider for you, if you go to our website and you go to the find a provider thing, we have everything listed from, you know, if you want to end off in-office person or telehealth, we have locations, you know, whether you want medication management or therapy, insurance selection. We have so many different things. And we even have a page that specifically says, you know, what type of provider do you need? And kind of talk you through what some of what Julie just said, you know? So if you’re looking for a psychologist or someone like Julie, who is a licensed clinical counselor or something like that, we have it all listed on our website. So,another question, and you’ve talked about it a little bit, but if you could expand on, you know, when when you’re in the first session or the second all the way through, however many sessions, what do you do as a provider to kind of try to make someone feel more comfortable in a session?

Julie Killion: [00:09:17] Personally, I try to not use very many clinical terms in the first session and throw a lot of, I guess, what they would call psychobabble at you. I really strive to make it comfortable and casual because I know how unnerving it can be to tell all of your business to a stranger. Something else I try to do is I try not to take very many notes during the session. I really want it to feel like a conversation. And because it is and I want to convey that the client has my full attention because they do. And I don’t want to be at my computer taking notes the whole time and not making eye contact and not having it be a fluid conversation like it should be, that that’s a really main thing that I like to do, especially in the first session. Also, I usually let the client tell me what they feel is important. I really believe that the client is an expert on their own lives and I might be the expert in psychology and mental health, but the client’s expert in their life. So I let them tell me what they feel is important and then I just interject questions as needed. I have so many people tell me that I feel so good just to let it all out and actually be listened to and their concerns validated. That’s such an important part of therapy. And that can definitely start just in the first session by you coming in and saying what’s bothering you? What’s important to you? You tell me and we’ll go from there.

Trent Brown: [00:10:55] Yeah, that’s awesome,thank you for sharing that. Yeah, I think that is, just for me even, it’s awesome to hear. You know, I’ve met quite a few of our providers at MindPath, and I’ve met providers that are at other places in the past, too. And I think it’s really important to remember that, you know, providers are people and then they’re trained to do this really well and they’re trained to listen to you and, you know, kind of just to be there along with you on this journey and help you get there. So, you know, when you have that anxiety about it, I think it’s really important to remember that providers are people just like Julie that, you know, are really just here to help you out. So, Julie, I think I’ve asked all of my questions, but is there anything that, you know, I’ve missed that you want to add?

Julie Killion: [00:11:48] Well, actually, you kind of just touched on it. I was going to say: remembering that we’re humans, too, we just happen to have a specialty in mental health. But we’re humans and we’re not the expert on everything. And we are just here to help you navigate whatever it is you’re going through. And our job is to not provide any type of judgment and just to provide that unconditional positive regard and walk with you through whatever you’re going through.

Trent Brown: [00:12:21] Very awesome, very awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us and sharing all of this.

Julie Killion: [00:12:27] My pleasure. Thank you.

Trent Brown: [00:12:29] All right. Thank you all for listening.


Julie Killion, LCMHC

Wake Forest, NC

Julie is passionate about helping people move from “surviving” to “thriving” in life. She is fascinated by human behavior, the way our brains work and how we interact with each other and the world. She works to empower her patients to enact positive change in their life and finds it incredibly rewarding and humbling to be a part of that ... Read Full Bio »

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