Congratulations on taking the first step to a healthier you!! It is a big step to research therapists, choose one who you will think will be a good fit and then schedule the appointment.
Now that you have found a therapist and your appointment is approaching, you may begin to feel a little uncertain or even anxious not knowing how to prepare for that time or what to expect in that first session.
What Should I Do Before My Appointment:
Determine Your Why.
This first session is just the start of working with your therapist. If you are not sure what you want to begin with, it might be helpful to think through some of these questions:
- What is your biggest struggle right now and how is it affecting your daily life?
- Where are you at in your life right now and where do you want to be?
- Is there an event or circumstance that you are struggling to work through?
Complete Initial Paperwork.
Most therapists will have some paperwork they would like you to complete prior to your first session. There will probably be:
- Disclosures to sign giving the therapist consent to meet with you
- Disclosures on confidentiality and what your expectations for your privacy are
- Practices policies of your therapist-this will tell you how they operate like hours, how to reach them, what to do if you need to cancel
- Insurance information if they accept your insurance
- Credit card or payment method for sessions
- Questionnaire that provides you with a place to share why you are seeking a therapist
Depending if the therapist takes your insurance, you will want to verify that and how much your plan will pay towards your sessions. You can call the number on the back of your insurance card, and they should be able to help you.
Now that you have completed the initial paperwork, what can you expect from your first session?
Purpose of the First Session.
The purpose of the first session is for the therapist to get to know the client as a person and to begin to understand what the client wants to get from therapy.
What to Expect from the Therapist.
At the beginning the session, your therapist will review some of the disclosures you signed and make sure they have the needed information to begin. After the paperwork is reviewed, they will ask you to share a little about yourself and why you want to to begin therapy.
Your therapist should be a great listener and be respectful to you and what you are sharing. This is beginning of a therapy relationship, and you will need to be able to share hard emotions and circumstances to move forward in your healing.
Your therapist may take a few notes and ask some questions to make sure they are understanding what you are sharing.
What the Therapist Will Need from You.
- -be open to the therapy process
- -begin to share your story and why you are there
- -ask questions
It is crucial to remember that this first session is just the beginning of getting to know your therapist and them starting to learn about you and your story. Building a relationship takes time and as the relationship and trust develops, you will feel more comfortable sharing more and working on the goals that you want from therapy.
In our practice, our therapists believe it is critical for each client to feel heard and seen in order for them to be able to work together in therapy. They are exceptional listeners and work with their clients on the goals that the client has shared. They treat every client with respect and will work with the client to determine what tools and therapies will best help them reach their goals. They would love to meet with you and see how they can help you on your journey to the life you want. For more information on our therapists, please see https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/about/