Taking the step to begin therapy is an important decision. It likely means that you are ready to make changes in your life. Still, it can be nerve-wracking when meeting a therapist for the first time. Here is what you can expect to happen on your first visit.
It is common practice for therapists to first schedule an initial session with clients. This is a great opportunity for you to meet and find out whether you and your therapist are a good fit before deciding to commit to working together. A good fit between you and your therapist not only means that you feel comfortable with your therapist, but that your therapist is the right professional to help you with the issues you want to address.
In order to determine this, you can expect the first session to be a conversation about the issues you are seeking therapy for as what you are hoping therapy can do for you. Your therapist will also want to gather some background information such as whether you have been in therapy before, a little about your family background and what your current life is like. All this helps to inform your therapist about where you are in life and where you hope to be.
There will also be a chance to discuss details about the counselling process itself. Your therapist should be open in helping you understand the approaches or orientations they generally take or you may want to know about their training and background. The key is for you to feel at ease about the therapeutic process and feel safe, comfortable and connected with your therapist. Towards the end of the session, if you find that it is a good fit, you will discuss the logistical details of counselling such as how often to meet and cancellation policies.
Ultimately, the initial session is really about getting a feel for whether you feel comfortable in working alongside your therapist. Establishing a therapeutic relationship with your therapist that is trusting, secure and open can lead to deeply fulfilling and lasting changes in your life. Your first session with the right therapist will hopefully lead you into an exciting journey to developing greater insight about yourself.