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Starting Therapy – What to Expect

Starting Therapy –

Whatever reasons you have for going to speak to someone it can be less daunting if you have some idea what to expect.

The first thing to note is that going to therapy is a brave step. In the past it may have been viewed as ‘Self Indulgent’ or ‘Selfish’ but more and more it is seen as resourceful. The following few lines will aim to shed some light on the first session, what you might expect and hopefully reduce some of the anxiety that has become a barrier to you seeking support.

When thinking about that first session try to set aside the idea of having to ‘get it right’, there is not right or wrong way. In the first session you will be given the space to tell your story, at your own pace. You are in control and can say as little or as much as you like.

In your first session, the therapist typically will ask certain questions about you and your life. This information helps the therapist make an initial assessment of your situation. Questions might include:

• Why you are coming to therapy at this time?
• If you have been to therapy before?
• How the issue/s you are presenting with impact your life?
• What your goals for therapy are?
• You will be asked about different aspects of your lifestyle,
your current family situation, your family history, support
networks, medical history, current medication and your
doctor. The aim of these questions is so the therapist
can get a greater understanding of you and the context in
which you live. The gathering of this information may
happen over a couple of sessions.

It is important to remember that you are an active participant and therapy is a team effort. If you don’t take an active part then you may not find the counselling experience valuable. Ask questions of your therapist, here are some ideas of questions you could ask:

• How will the therapy/process work?
• What interventions/techniques will you use?
• What is expected of me as a client?
• Will there be a chance to review the work after a few weeks?
• Are you Accredited? (if so with whom?) (The therapist may
not be fully accredited but working towards their
accreditation. This means they are qualified and working
towards their accreditation with a particular association
that dictates standards of practice)

Other things covered will include a contract of working in terms of the cost per session, the duration of each session (normally 50/55 minutes), the time/day of your next and subsequent meetings, the cancellation policy and boundaries of the work.

If you have any other questions in relation to the first session or anything else in relation to the psychotherapy process please don’t hesitate to contact us at: