What will happen at my first therapy session?
It takes courage to recognize that you need help and resolve to act. The first session can also create anxiety wondering. What is going to be asked? How is it going to go? What will the therapist be like? Essentially, what can you expect at the first therapy session?
The first session is about the parties getting to know each other. Your first session is an introduction to your therapist. This is when you can decide whether this person is a good fit for you; and whether the therapist thinks they can help you. The answer will involve whether you feel you can trust the therapist with what you are looking to address, and whether you will feel safe and respected. The confidentiality of your information will also be reviewed with you.
You can expect that the therapist will ask questions like what brought you to seek therapy, what symptoms you are feeling, how they impact your life and how you cope with your feelings.
The therapist will also ask about your background, family, friends, living arrangements and career to gain a clearer picture of who you are and how your life is impacted. The therapist will listen carefully to your answers and ask questions, sometimes difficult questions, and understanding that it might be uncomfortable to share with a stranger. Ideally, it is about creating a safe space to explore difficult questions and discomfort that might arise.
You can expect that these discussions will begin to explore deep seated and unexpressed thoughts and feelings that may feel intense and emotionally draining. The best thing you can do is to give yourself permission to be open and honest. If you feel the therapist is not a good fit, be honest about that too.
This is also a good time to ask questions of the therapist so they can determine whether they can help you. You might ask about the process, their approach to treating conditions like yours, what experience the therapist has with others with problems like yours and what you can expect from therapy. You can expect that most therapists will use a combination of several types of therapy that are suitable to address various issues and needs.
You may also ask about the length of treatment, how long it will take to resolve your issues, what types of therapeutic methods the therapist may use to help you, how long it will take to feel better, how many sessions you will need, how long the sessions will be and what to expect during a session.
If the therapist believes they can help and both of you agree there is a good fit, the therapist will develop a treatment plan and discuss it with you at your next session. A treatment plan is like a road map to your work with the therapist.
With a caring therapist and the right treatment, you can learn to make positive changes to address what brought you to therapy. If this sounds like something you or a loved one are looking for, we at Healthymynds in Redondo Beach are here to help. Reach out to schedule a consultation and learn how to make positive changes in your life.