Yes! You finally got that appointment with your therapist. Your first therapy session has made its way to the calendar. There were pits, knots, and even butterflies in your stomach that you battled before making that call to the therapist. After days, weeks, months, and maybe even years of speculation, wondering if booking a counselling session is the right way to go — whether they’d be able to assist you with the situation or you could manage your problem by yourself; you chose therapy! But as the date is nearing, you’re probably thinking about how to prepare for the first therapy session or what to expect at the first therapy session. In this article, you’ll learn all about this before sitting down with your therapist.
You’ll be asked for some background information
What’s your reason to seek therapy? And what’s your story?
There must be some underlying issue that you need to address that has been affecting your mental health and your therapist has to know the reason to understand your issue, on a surface level, before they can dive into deeper mental turmoils.
For a therapist to support you the best they can, they’ll ask you questions about your life — your personal history, family, present situation, etc.
Your symptoms and goals are of paramount importance
Along with the aforementioned information, your counselor/therapist will also delve into some of the symptoms you’re currently facing.
Let’s say, your issue might be causing you anxiety about forming new, romantic relationships. You’ve feared that the person you’re with will blindside and leave you. This relationship anxiety causes you to follow some patterns that lead to self-sabotaging a potential relationship that can be good for you.
By sharing your information with the therapist, they’ll be able to understand you, your problems, and your symptoms, and can assist you with a plan of action so that you solve the issue head-on.
Helpful tips for a successful first session of therapy
1. Prepare yourself
Before beginning your first therapy session, spend some time by yourself, with your thoughts. By doing so, it’ll help you describe your emotions or feelings better about your current situation.
For instance, you could list down the reasons you are seeking therapy and why. You could even think out and loud and practice how you’d convey your thoughts, feelings, and emotions with clarity.
2. Engage actively
Therapy should be an interactive session. You need to take part fully to get the most out of your therapy session.
3. Be transparent
Remember, you’re going to be engaging with a trained therapist. They know to ask all the right questions. But, for them to aid you better, you need to be transparent and answer all the questions honestly.
Also, at times, therapy can get emotionally overwhelming. You’d even cry to express your feelings. And that’s okay. You need to be aware of your reactions and what you’re feeling, and convey them to your therapist. This way, you’ll be able to learn about yourself and your situation, especially when it comes from a professional’s perspective.
4. Ask questions
There are no right or wrong questions in therapy. Ask as many questions as possible regarding how therapy works, what’s the process of therapy, and even clarify anything that you don’t fully understand.
If you or someone you know is struggling with any mental health issues reach out to experts at ManoShala.
Aarti Hegde, Writer, ManoShala