How to Prepare For Your First Therapy Session

How to Prepare For Your First Therapy Session

The commitment to start therapy is a ginormous leap in the right direction, and the strength needed to make that decision is something you should acknowledge and be proud of.

Though therapy can be extremely rewarding and beneficial, the first session is known to be the hardest. It can take some time to build a trusting relationship with the therapist, let alone manage any anxiety you might be experiencing.

It’s normal to be wary about opening up to a stranger, and while you should stay open-minded, if you feel like your therapist is not a good fit, you should trust your gut.

Whether you’re excited about your appointment or completely dreading it, preparing yourself beforehand will alleviate any stress and help you identify new goals you’d like to achieve throughout your sessions.

Preparing for Your First Session

Have Realistic Expectations

While therapy can be incredibly beneficial, it’s not magic.

Feeling as though a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders as you leave your first therapy session is fairly common, although expecting to be completely cured will only leave you disappointed.

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to years for individuals to reach their goals, and the first therapist you meet isn’t always the same one who’s with you at the finish line.

For therapy to be effective, you’ll have to do most of the heavy lifting, as your therapist is there to help guide you through your journey rather than answer questions only you have the answer to.

What Would I Like to Achieve?

Set Goals

A common question many therapists ask their clients during the first session is what brought them to therapy.

Begin by asking yourself “What would I like to achieve?” It’s important to remember that each person has their reasons for going to therapy, so there are no right or wrong answers.

Try to understand the reasons behind seeking out help and outline clear therapy goals for what you hope to achieve from counselling. A good place to start is by pinpointing what is weighing you down and figuring out the reasons behind it.

If you’re not exactly sure what you hope to achieve from therapy, that's completely fine too. A part of counselling is dedicated to helping you sort out what you’d like to accomplish.

Build a Support System

Tell a Friend or a Loved One

Talking to your loved one about going to therapy is a good way to reduce feelings of anxiety while also gaining a support system that’ll check in with you after your sessions.

It may surprise you how hearing about other people’s experiences with counselling and gaining their insights helps you become motivated to continue with your treatment. Talking about therapy also helps decrease the stigma around seeking professional help for mental health issues, encouraging others to get the help they need.

Get Started on Your Journey Today With Unique Peace Counselling

Are you feeling nervous about starting therapy? Whether you’re looking for advice on managing a new life transition or want help coping with a mental health condition, our experts are here to help you on your journey.

At Unique Peace Counselling, we work hard to help our clients overcome their challenges and live their best lives through therapy.

Reach out to us to learn more about first counselling session expectations and book your appointment today.