What To Expect In Your First Therapy Session

Unless I have your express written permission for specific information to be shared with a specific person, nothing you say is getting beyond our conversation- ever. Obviously I can’t speak for every therapist in the world, but I know lots of them and there are some common elements to first therapy sessions. I will tell you what happens in my office when someone first comes in. As you have probably noticed, there is a similar theme running through these and other coaching questions in other domains. Great coaching is about empowering your client to find the answers themselves, whether that means looking at their professional skills or their whole lives in a different light.

You’re welcome to share these feelings with your therapist during your first session, if you like, but you are not obligated to. Typically, pre-session anxiety will ebb as you get to know your therapist, see how the process works, and start to see results as the weeks go by. If you continue to feel anxious about therapy even several sessions in, it may be wise to bridge it with your therapist and see if you can address the feelings directly. Mental health therapy is a gradual but steady process of developing insights, overcoming obstacles, setting and achieving goals, and enhancing wellbeing and the quality of your life.

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If you’re having suicidal thoughts, being honest about them is the best way to get help. The therapist will work with you on a safety plan and try to find out if additional measures are needed. Some people who go to therapy want tangible coping skills, while others might just be looking for a safe place with someone to listen and support them.

first therapy session 101 the most popular questions answered

During your very first meeting, your therapist will clearly explain confidentiality and its limits. It might feel intimidating at first to talk about some of these topics. As you prepare your list, consider what you want to say and jot down some notes to guide you during the session. I never want to pressure anyone, or assume that they feel comfortable being my client yet, so I give them a choice between scheduling our next session right now, or getting back to me after they think about it. Almost 100% of the time they schedule right then, but if they don’t, that’s ok too.

Know That Therapy Is A Place To Feel Heard Not Judged

I usually find that at this stage, you’ve answered all of their questions. The most common question I’m asked is basically ‘Am I weird’ and ‘Can you help me? ’ Those are easy times to validate/normalize and again reinforce your very rough treatment plan. I feel confident that we can get this anxiety under control and you can feel like yourself again.

  • If you’ve been to therapy before, consider what you liked about previous therapists and what worked best for you in therapy.
  • During your very first meeting, your therapist will clearly explain confidentiality and its limits.
  • Describe your functioning, help the therapist spot possible issues.
  • Here’s what to expect during the initial appointment so there are no surprises.
  • The first session will help determine how often your therapist feels you should meet.
  • When the relevant areas have been covered, I invite the parents to the waiting room and begin the inquiry with the adolescent.

You can choose to answer the questions on this form, or decline to answer them at that time. While every therapist has their own approach, there are common questions you may be asked at your first appointment. When I’m not working with kids I am helping confused and stressed parents, families, and caregivers navigate relationships, grief, loss, and the mental health system.

I love it when clients share with me, “This is hard to talk about. I’m not sure I want to talk about this”, and we can process that feeling too. Car accident, robbery at gunpoint, 911, other life threat? (ever been arrested for assault?) History of mental health problems? (prior diagnoses, hospitalizations, meds?) Serious physical health issues? (diabetes, thyroid problems, cancer, AIDS?) It doesn’t mean you’ll have to focus on this stuff for years and not touch your current problem, not at all.