First off, congratulations on taking the first step toward therapy. Starting therapy can make you feel nervous, intimidated, or even excited. People experience a mixed range of emotions when taking that step for the first time. I applaud you for starting your therapy journey. Whether you have been considering this move for a while or just decided, we are happy you chose this for yourself. Therapy can help provide you with a warm environment to nurture your mental health journey. Take a deep breath, because you are here!
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when preparing, scheduling, and starting therapy. Therapy is a process, and good mental health isn’t achieved overnight. Try to be patient with yourself. I hope learning a little bit about what to expect in the beginning process will help ease any nerves you may have.
In the beginning, a short phone consultation is offered, but is not mandatory so that you can meet, speak, and get to know the practice and your therapist. Finding the right therapist for you is very important! Keep in mind that this relationship is constantly growing as you continue to open up and share as well. Please feel free to inquire about your therapist’s experience, strategies, specializations, and anything else you are curious about.
Next, an intake session is scheduled. The purpose of an intake session is so the therapist can develop a deeper understanding to create a bigger picture of you. This involves gathering more details about what is going on currently, in the past, and general history about yourself.
After the intake, weekly sessions will be set up. Research shows that a consistent weekly schedule makes the biggest impact on mental health. Make sure you choose a time for weekly sessions that is convenient for yourself and your daily schedule.
As you start your regular sessions, it is important to take time to reflect before and after sessions. This is a precious time to prepare and process for therapy. Make sure to schedule your appointments for convenient times in a comfortable space. Take time to consider goals for yourself and your time in therapy. While these goals are not written in stone and can always be updated, coming in with an idea of what you want to work on during your time is helpful.
Don’t worry about knowing exactly what to say at first. Your therapist will help lead the conversation and ask questions to help explore. And remember, therapy is a process. Be gentle with yourself and the process. Schedule time to relax, self-care, and process after sessions. And of course, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You deserve to feel comfortable in sessions and there are no wrong questions.
Just remember that therapy is a wonderful and very helpful tool. It deserves a healthy and comfortable relationship between you and your therapist to nurture an honest environment. It’s a dual relationship so it’s best to reflect on this aspect while you allow a few sessions for the relationship to build. Also, remember change takes time. Be sure to set realistic expectations for yourself and therapy in general. Therapy varies in length, experience, and results and the experience is as unique as you are. And now, you are taking the first step which is cause to celebrate!
Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation or to book an appointment.
My therapeutic style is warm, non-judgmental, and supportive so that you may express yourself openly and freely. I work with clients struggling with anxiety, stress from daily life, depression, and difficulties within relationships. My approach is warm, compassionate, respectful, and culturally sensitive. I believe all people are unique, experiential, and creative in their own thoughts and feelings.