Coming to see a therapist for the first time can bring up a host of feelings, not the least of which is anxiety.
For some, it can be a daunting experience to see a therapist. It is useful to know that there are a number of goals for the first session of therapy that will help guide both you and me during our first encounter. During the first meeting:
- We will work at establishing a relationship where you can feel comfortable discussing the issues that have made you decide to seek therapy. You will have a chance to evaluate me, and my style to see if it is right for you. I will take the time to do much more listening than talking during the first session - the focus is on you.
- You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you wish about me and treatment. To really set your mind at ease, one of the answers to a question that I often feel remains unasked is this - “No, therapists are not able to read minds.”
- We will determine if I am a good fit for you as a therapist. This is not based on any deep “psychological” factors, but is rather based on much more practical concerns – do your issues fit within my area of expertise, do both of us have realistic expectations regarding treatment, can you commit to the process so that it is worthwhile and can I commit to your expectations?
- We will discuss fees, session timing, length of time of therapy, contracts, privacy and expectations from the process. Discussion of these factors in an open manner in the first session will help you determine if treatment with me is right for you.
- We will determine if there are any pressing psychological or medical issues that may hinder therapy or require more immediate attention such as interventions from a physician or psychiatrist.
- You should come away with a sense of hope that therapy with me will be able to address your issues. We may or may not talk directly about hope, but after the first session, you should start to feel that the process will work if you stick with it.