So you've made the leap and scheduled your first therapy session. Congratulations! Therapy can be an extremely powerful tool for improving your mental health, working through difficult life issues, or getting to know yourself a little better.
Even if you know the myriad benefits of therapy, going to therapy for the first time can feel a little awkward, even intimidating. To help ease your mind and get the most out of it, we've put together a brief overview of what to expect and how to prepare for your first therapy session.
Your First Therapy Session
Your first appointment with your therapist will be a chance for each of you to get to know each other, establish expectations and guidelines, and make sure that you'll be a good fit for one another.
Your therapist will most likely tell you about their personal philosophy and approach to therapy. They may also ask you why you're looking to start therapy, what you hope to get out of it, and whether there are any mental health issues or life events that you're trying to work through. They might also ask whether you've ever been in therapy or counseling before, and if so, what worked and didn't work for you. If you haven't done so already, you'll also probably be asked to sign the initial paperwork and provide insurance and/or payment details.
How To Prepare for Your First Therapy Session
Taking time to prepare beforehand can help you get the most out of therapy. As the day of your appointment approaches, there are a few things you can do:
- Collect the documents you'll need to bring to your appointment: your ID, proof of health insurance, and other essential information.
- Reflect on your motivations for starting therapy, specific issues or problems you'd like to bring up, and what your goals are for therapy. It may help to make notes about these to bring with you.
- Consider some of the logistical aspects of therapy. For example, how often would you like to meet with your therapist? You might also research different styles and types of therapy so that you're prepared to talk to your therapist about what you think will work best for you.
Despite your best preparations, sometimes a therapist just isn't a good fit for you. If that happens, don't be discouraged or give up entirely. Although it can take some trial and error to find the right therapy relationship, the outcome is almost always worth the effort.
Envision Unlimited has a staff of capable and compassionate mental health professionals. In addition, we have helped individuals with disabilities live fulfilling lives in their communities since 1948. Our offerings, which include day programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; mental health, residential, and employment services; specialized foster care; and accredited applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy for children, are designed to address the unique needs of each of our clients—regardless of age, background, or ability.
Our services are grounded in a spirit of advocacy and empowerment. We believe that all individuals are capable of living successful lives if given the right opportunities. Contact us today to see how we can help you!