What to Expect from Your First Therapy Session
Let me start by sharing the same information with you that I tell all my new clients at their first session. Scheduling and walking through the door of your first therapy session are the hardest steps. For many people therapy is something that a person has thought about on and off for years but have never been able to follow through on. Talking with someone who you have never met before about your struggles can be very intimidating, but the secret is we can go at your own pace. Many people leave their first session feeling surprisingly validated and feel as though a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. But to be fully transparent I must add that some people leave their first session feeling overwhelmed. You’ve just shared, with a complete stranger, things you were not expecting to discuss or have kept packed away or hidden for years. Try to be honest with your therapist and share your experience, we can help your mind and body to adjust to the initial shock or innate urge to retreat.
Know that your first therapy session is also a time to get to know your therapist, ask questions. The therapeutic relationship is unique and healing. If you haven’t been through therapy before its important to familiarize yourself with what a therapeutic relationship is and what it is not. Your therapist should be non-judgmental and should only share personal experiences when it is appropriate to the current therapeutic goals. In addition, a therapist’s job is not to tell you what to do or give advice, this fosters a relationship of dependence on another person which goes against therapeutic goals.
A final piece of information that I share with all my new clients is that your first session will involve your therapist asking a lot of questions, something therapists do not typically like to do. The purpose of asking questions is to gain helpful information regarding chief complaint areas and to begin to set therapeutic goals. Follow-up sessions will be the time where you are learning new coping skills, discussing what you have tried and diving more specifically into topics that may have only been briefly discussed at your initial session.
If you are ready to take the next step and schedule your first session, call or email me today! If you would like I also provide free 15-minute phone consultations as well. I look forward to hearing from you!