What to Expect When Starting Therapy
You’re thinking about starting therapy, but not sure what to expect. Sometimes the unknown is the biggest hurdle we must overcome to start our therapy journey. Here are some things you can expect from your first therapy session.
Paperwork, Paperwork, & More Paperwork
You will have to complete intake paperwork before the start of your appointment. These documents include your consent to treatment, HIPAA standards and more. These are completed to ensure you understand your rights and comply with best practices and insurance regulation. If you have questions about your paperwork do not hesitate to ask your therapist! It's never fun having to reschedule your appointment because the paperwork wasn't completed.
Timing is Everything
Once you schedule your appointment, arrive on time. If you are 15 minutes or more late to your appointment you may have to reschedule. After all the suspense of waiting for the first appointment, this is the last thing you and your therapist want. If you are running late, contact your therapist directly to discuss options. They are eager to meet you and start helping in the healing journey.
Ask to Ensure Your Match
Feel free to ask your therapist questions. While most of the session will be about you and your therapeutic goals, feel free to ask your therapist any questions that will help you decide if they are the best fit for you. Think of the first session as an opportunity to assess if this is the person that can best help you heal.
Practice Openness & Vulnerability
Be as open and vulnerable as you’re ready to be. During this time session, you may be asked difficult questions about your past, family, trauma or present. The more information you can provide your therapist, the better they can help. However, if you are not yet ready to dive into certain topics this is okay! Just let your therapist know that you would like to come back to this later when you are more comfortable. Your therapist will completely understand this.
Be ready to set goal. Your first session is really made up of getting to know you and highlighting a trajectory for healing. Be ready to talk about where you want to go and goals you want to achieve during your time with your therapist.
The first session can be anxiety provoking in both exciting and terrifying ways. It is hard to meet a stranger, especially knowing that you will be diving into some complex and challenging topics with them. Give yourself compassion and remember to breathe. We promise that you won’t always feel this way before therapy.