It can be scary and overwhelming to figure out how to start seeing a therapist and book your first therapy session. Seeing a therapist should be an experience that brings you comfort; it should give you a safe space to disclose your thoughts and emotions. Once you find a therapist of your choice, you may be offered a consultation call to ensure it’s the right fit for you. Here’s an idea of what to expect during your first therapy session.
1. Paperwork: It’s not the most enjoyable part of therapy, but everyone has to do it. Your therapist may ask you to arrive at least 10 minutes early to fill out and review the forms. Just like many doctor appointments, you may be asked to bring a copy of your health insurance and payment option. When your therapist goes over everything with you, feel comfortable to ask questions about anything that seems confusing.
2. You Will Do the Talking: You will get the opportunity to express your feelings and explain what brought you into therapy. Your therapist may gather personal information, such as your family history, your symptoms, your employment, your social life, and your mental health treatment history. Even if you begin to feel emotional during the first session, it’s completely okay. You won’t be judged for speaking openly about your emotions. Your therapy session is about you and having a safe space to be vulnerable.
3. Goals and Expectations: Every therapist is different, but they all should start by getting to know you and engaging you in the client-therapist process. Remember, if you ever feel uncomfortable with a topic, you can always tell your therapist “I am not ready to talk about that.” You will work with your therapist to develop goals and expectations in order to find solutions to your problems.
4. What’s Next?: Your therapist will schedule your next appointment and may even provide you with a homework assignment. This task will reinforce what you’ve covered in therapy and help you practice techniques independently. For example, you may be asked to practice self-care, work on meditation techniques, or write in your journal. Your therapist may want to assist you with tracking your process to meet your goals.
Remember, therapy is a process and a valuable tool with helping you resolve your problems. It may be nerve-racking at first, but it is so worthwhile. By contacting a therapist, you are taking the first step to address and express your emotions and struggles. Now that you know what’s in store, you can be prepared to improve your mental health and well-being. To contact one of our licensed therapists at Mindsoother, click this link.