The First-Timer’s Guide To Therapy
If you have recently decided to step up and do something to improve yourself, going to therapy is a great investment for your mental health. Not only will it help you flesh out some things you need to deal with, but it will also give you peace of mind. If you’re worried about what to expect, then we’re here to help you with that. It’s normal to feel this way when you’re about to enter a room without knowing what will happen. This could possibly affect the quality of the service you will be receiving, so it’s best to come prepared. Here are some things that will most likely happen in your first session.
What Questions Will Be Asked
Usually, the first session will include an intake interview which will consist of questions about your life at the moment and possibly your history as well. Through this first set of questions, your therapist will be able to assess your needs. Here are the questions he or she might ask at your first meeting.
Why did you decide to seek therapy? You will most likely credit your reason for going into therapy to a challenge or problem you are going through in your life. With this as the most basic question, your therapist will be able to help you through your tough time starting with the most apparent issue that is bothering you. Be honest about your feelings and experiences as it will help both you and your therapist more.
Tell me about your family history. How is your current family situation? As your family’s degree of presence is essential to your overall well being, your relationships with them will be tackled as well. A lot of the questions your therapist will be asking about your life will involve your family and how you deal with them. Your history will involve your childhood and past experiences, while your current situation will delve into your present dealings within your family.
What are the symptoms that you are experiencing right now? Along with knowing the issue that brought you forward to the therapist’s office, the physical or social discomforts or manifestations will also be asked to be reported. These will all contribute to a diagnosis, which your therapist might already give on the first visit. Usually, however, it would take more visits to verify this. Additionally, this data will tell how much time and work you will have to loan for therapy.
How to Play Your Role
Remember that therapy has to work both ways in order to be fruitful. As much as we credit the therapist for doing the job, you have your own role to play as well. Remember you get what you give, so put in as much as you can. Here are some things that you can do to make your first therapy session a great one.
Open up. Contrary to popular belief, your therapist cannot read your mind. He or she will only ask you questions and in order to have a successful relationship, you must be open enough to answer them truthfully and generously.
Get ready. Be prepared to go into the session. To the best of your ability, articulate or express your issues and feelings. A helpful way to do this is to write your thoughts down prior to the meeting. You can always bring the list to your session. It will help you remember all the things you would like to say. Remember that the clearer picture you paint, the more that the therapist will be able to help you.
Inquire. The more you know, the better you’ll feel. The therapist knows that you are making an investment to be here so more often than not, your questions will be welcomed and answered. If you have hesitations or confusion, express them so that your therapist will know how to address them. If you know what you’re getting into, being more open to the process will come naturally.
Express your feelings. Acknowledge the thoughts and emotions that you are experiencing. Articulate them during the session. Your reactions to certain things are all things to look out for. Share your realizations, and be generous with it.
Don’t mistake therapy as a one-stop-shop that will magically cure all your problems. It is a journey to undertake and the degree of involvement that you’re willing to put in will tell the difference between a successful session and an unsuccessful one.
Based on materials from Psych Central
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