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Get the Most From Your First Mental Health Therapy Session

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Get the Most From Your First Mental Health Therapy Session

If you’re like most of us, it probably takes you some time to admit you’re dealing with something difficult to handle on your own. However, once you come to this conclusion it’s time to seek professional help, you’ll most likely be relieved that you’re finally taking some action.

Your first mental health therapy session will lead you down the path toward successful resolution of your challenging emotional issues.

Make the most of your first appointment with these tips:

1. Complete pre-planning.

When you call the office for the first appointment, ask questions, get to know the office, your therapist, and the process of being a client. During the call, inquire about costs for services, how long the sessions will last, and expectations for paperwork needed at the first session.

2. Arrive 5-10 minutes prior to appointment. It’s important to be present when the therapist is ready for you. They often schedule clients consecutively and won’t have excess time between sessions to accommodate late-comers.

3. Be cooperative.

Although you’re unsure of the process, the more helpful you are with the therapist, the better they can assist you. A large part of the therapy process is the relationship you and therapist develop together.

4. Recognize the therapist does considerable information-gathering during the first session.

Because the therapist needs your personal history to understand your situation, they’ll inquire about various parts of your life. Sometimes it catches clients off-guard when the assessment is more about asking questions than it is about discussing the future work of therapy.

5. Openly respond to any questions asked.

Some people find it unnerving to reveal personal business to a therapist. However, the more open you are, the more smoothly your sessions will move forward and ensure a satisfactory conclusion. Embrace this opportunity to heal by sharing feelings honestly.

6. Accept that you might shed tears.

During your first session, you might cry because you’re relieved to be finally “unloading” your feelings. Also, opening up about situations that have been troubling you taps into feelings that could trigger crying. Go ahead and let go, the therapist is practiced at accepting clients' emotional expressions, including tears.

Attending your first mental health therapy session can be very motivating. Rest assured, it’s completely normal to seek out professional help when you feel the need. With these tips, you’re ready to embark upon what could be one of the most enriching, enlightening adventures of your life!

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