Taking the first step and setting up your appointment for your first counseling session can be an overwhelming and scary thing. For many individuals, there’s a bit of doubt and uncertainty as to what you can expect. This blog is meant to help you feel comfortable going into your first session and to provide a little bit of insight as to what will happen at the first meeting with your therapist.
Generally, the first and most important part of counseling is being able to build a strong connection and rapport between you and your therapist. After all, if you’re not comfortable with your therapist then it probably won’t be easy for you to talk about some of your deepest and darkest secrets, right? At Sutherland Therapy (and most other counseling offices) you can expect your first session to be pretty straight forward. The therapist will want to have a better understanding of who you are, what your interests/hobbies are, a glimpse of your current family life and history, any medical history, and any other information that you feel will be relevant towards your therapy process. Also, like any other medical office, your therapist will provide you with information and consent forms to fill out. Usually, one form will ask about your medical history, if you’ve ever been in therapy before, and a brief reason for requesting services. The consent form tells you a little bit about what to expect in therapy and clarifies cost of each session, cancellation policies, and the confidentiality component between you and your therapist.
Once some of the general things above have been discussed, your therapist will then ask you what your goals for therapy are and what you hope to gain from your time in therapy together. It can then be assessed as to how often you should be coming to therapy and how future appointments will be scheduled. Some clients may prefer to check their schedule each week and not schedule ahead of time, whereas other clients may want to have a repetitive set day and time for when they see their therapist. Either way, the therapist will work with you and try to be flexible in meeting your desired needs. The therapist may also recommend how often they feel you should be coming to therapy to start, but obviously this is left to the client to decide and the client should never feel pressured.
From there on out, the therapist and client will continue to strengthen their bond. As sessions progress, the client and therapist will work together to create a plan that will help the client reach their full potential and goals. The most important thing to remember is that the therapist is there to help you feel welcomed, comfortable, and never judged. At all of your appointments, just be yourself! If you ever have a question or concern, your therapist will always be more than happy to clarify or answer those for you. Lastly, always remember that your therapist is there to help you grow into the best and healthiest version of you!