Nervous before your first session? This feeling is natural. Here are tips to help. This article details what to expect at your first session as well as ways to help YOU feel more prepared.
What to Do Before Scheduling Your First Therapy Session
Choosing to see a therapist is a huge decision. It’s that moment when you decide:
You need or want help (did you actually just admit that to yourself?).
You can no longer manage this situation as effectively as you’d like to.
You’ve been stuck for a while and want to move forward.
As a therapist, I can often perceive a shift in the person I’m speaking to on the other end of the line once that first appointment has been set. I can sense that person breathing just a little bit easier, and there’s often a subtle acknowledgment of hope and even accomplishment, as in, “I’ve just taken the first important step toward my future well-being.”
What leads up to that first step? How can you take that first step with more confidence so that you don’t feel like you’re grasping at straws? So that you feel empowered in the process?
I recommend doing five things before finding a therapist.
1. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO GAIN FROM THE COUNSELING PROCESS
It’s helpful to have a goal or two in mind as you begin. For example, are you focused on processing a particular incident in your past? Are you interested in developing better communication skills? Are you eager to challenge the way you customarily think about yourself or the world around you (your inner dialogue)? Do you want to create a toolbox for coping with anxiety? Are you looking for a “safe” place to express your feelings regarding a loss?
It can be helpful to have a place to begin and to be able to express that to the person you choose to work with. Of course, you can alter your goals or add to them once you begin counseling. Sometimes a deeper objective comes to the surface later on, once a therapeutic foundation and a sense of trust has been established.
Read the full article on www.GoodTherapy.org.