For you first-timers, I know you are dying to know, “How do I do this? What do I say? Do I even need to be here?”
Or thinking, “Others have bigger problems than I, I might be wasting her time. I should be able to do this on my own.”
If I had a dime for every time I heard these questions and phrases, well, I’d have lots of dimes! Not to worry, try to relax and lets just talk!
It’s super normal to be nervous and not know what to expect. It’s my job to put you at ease and help you understand and feel comfortable with me and the process of therapy.
The good news is, you don’t have to do anything in particular, especially the first time you come to therapy. Just breathe, show up and be yourself. Share as much or as little as you are comfortable with. Be prepared to ask me questions, whatever you are curious about, something you want to learn to practice at home after the first session, how I work, how long therapy will take, etc. Ask away!
It’s my job to lead the session, make it flow and ask good questions. It’s my goal is to have each client leave the first session feeling like they have something they can do, something to practice or think about. We will go over the paperwork you filled out, I will explain some office policies and I will ask questions about you, your health history and what brought you to therapy.
At the end of the session, I will ask you to think about what your goals are for therapy, what you want to work on, how you will know when therapy is helping. How do you want to feel differently, think differently, what do you want to be different in your relationships? Some people know the answers to these questions, and for many people those questions are overwhelming. Not to worry, it is my job to help you develop goals that feel right for you. It’s your job to breathe and just be yourself the best you can.
Oh, and try not to be afraid that you might cry in the first session. Some people don’t, and many people do. Either way is fine, natural and sometimes cathartic. It’s a common concern people have coming into the first session. People often say, “I am going to try hard not to cry.” Truly, just show up and be authentic to the best of your ability, through your nerves.
Then, after 50-60 minutes it will be time to go. The time flies by! At the end we will talk about what your needs are in the future for therapy. If we feel comfortable with each other, we will schedule more appointments to get started. If not, it’s okay! Take your time, decide what is right for YOU! This is your chance to make decisions for yourself, and what you truly need.