People are often very nervous the first time they meet a new counselor or therapist. There are worries about what therapist will think about you or what the therapist will say. Will they think my problems are silly? Will they believe me? Will I be too much? All of those thoughts and feelings are very natural but to help, here are a few things that you can expect during your first counseling session.
Your initial session will consist of the sharing of information. Your therapist may have had you complete paperwork ahead of time or you may need to arrive early to complete it prior to your session. There are usually quite a few questions that may seem really personal but those questions help your therapist to know you better and have a more complete picture of your history and who you are. You may want to ask prior to your first session is you need to come early to complete the paperwork.
Your therapist or counselor will bring you back to a safe and private location in their office. Many offices are set with comfortable furniture in order to make clients (and honestly the therapist!) feel more comfortable.
Usually the therapist will start with a brief overview of who they are and how they work as a therapist. They will then probably go over the “Informed Consent” part of the paperwork that you probably signed prior to coming back to the room. Many people do not read what they sign and so the information is reviewed to make sure you understand your rights as a client, confidentiality, payments, and other aspects of therapy including how to file a complaint if you have one. What you say in session is kept in session with the exception of a few areas. Your counselor will explain this as well.
The therapist will then review your paperwork with you possibly clarifying aspects of your answers. They may have you share more information about specific situations or aspects of your history. From there you may lead the session by either providing background information or why you have decided to come to counseling.
There is no “right way” to begin your session. You begin where you feel comfortable. Your therapist is there to provide a non-judgmental atmosphere for you to explore what you are struggling with.
You may choose to jump right in or to take your time getting to the meat of the matter as you build a relationship with your therapist.
At the end of your session you and your therapist will discuss goals or homework for you to work on between session. You will also decide on an appoint for you next session. As a therapist, we want to help you move forward and not keep you with us forever and ever. We want to see you progress as quickly as possible so you can move through the difficult stuff and have a more joyful life. It will be common for your therapist that you come weekly for about 6-8 weeks to get things moving in the right direction quickly.
You do not have to be “crazy” or “broken” or benefit from counseling. You just have to have the courage to take the step to give us a call. We are happy to provide a free 15 minute consultation to see if we can help you! Give us a call at 940-565-8300 or click on the contact us page.