THE FIRST PSYCHOTHERAPY SESSION: What to Expect

Whether you’re a therapy veteran or a first-timer, starting with someone new is always anxiety-producing. After all, you’ll be entering unfamiliar territory. What will the therapist be like? Will she be able to help? What will be expected of you?

Think of our first session or two as a getting-to-know-each-other phase. You’ll want to learn about my background and experience, get a sense of me and my way of working, and decide if you feel comfortable with the idea of beginning therapy with me. I’ll want to learn about you, develop a beginning understanding of the problems that brought you in, and think with you about whether I’m the right therapist to help. Both of us will be figuring out if there’s a good “fit” between us as a collaborative team. And there’s nothing wrong with shopping around a bit. It’s always a good idea to interview more than one therapist, especially if you haven’t had therapy before or have had a bad therapy experience.

By the end of the consultation I’ll have shared my initial thoughts about the issues that brought you, and let you know if I think I can help. I’ll also recommend a treatment plan (i.e. individual, couple, or family therapy) and a frequency (i.e. once or twice a week). If for any reason you decide not to continue with me, I’ll be happy to provide you with names of colleagues who might be a better fit.