It is a very common question - what should I expect from my first meeting with my therapist? It is normal to feel nervous about this first meeting. Every therapist might have a slightly different approach in their pacing of the first session but the basic elements of the first session will be the same. Here are the steps you can expect from your first counseling session (typically called an “intake” session):
1. There will be intake paperwork to fill out.
One of the most important parts of the first therapy session, or the intake session, is the opportunity for your therapist to gather information about your history and reasons for seeking help in therapy. This most often begins with you filling out intake paperwork.
2. You will learn more about your rights as a client, especially your rights to confidentiality.
At the beginning of any intake session your therapist should explain your rights and limits to confidentiality in a way that you understand and feel comfortable with. This includes explaining confidentiality when the client is a minor.
3. Your therapist will explore more about your history by asking you questions.
The general categories of questions will be:
4. Your therapist will help you set treatment goals.
After spending time exploring and giving you the opportunity to express what you feel is important, you therapist will help you set treatment goals. This way you and the therapist can be on the same page in terms of what you would like to be working on together.
5. You and the therapist will set your next appointment.
If you express interest in continuing therapy, you and your therapist will work together to set the next time that you will come in.
Typically the intake session looks very different than the rest of the therapy sessions. Your therapist will most likely take notes during the intake session and may not continue to take notes during future sessions. The intake session may feel different than future sessions because the focus is typically information gathering with the potential for less focus on emotional processing of events. The intake session enables both you and the therapist to make an informed decision about goals for treatment and what the plan for treatment will look like going forward.
Note: Intake sessions for minors will typically look different than intake sessions for adults.
4/5/2022 01:44:22 pm
I'm glad you elaborated on what to expect from therapy and which information you'd need in your first session. Recently, my sister decided she'd like to start seeing a therapist, but she's getting anxious about it. I believe reading your tips on what to expect from therapy could help my sister, so I'll share them now. I appreciate your advice on how you'd need to know about your medical history when visiting a therapist.
7/21/2022 09:24:59 pm
Getting asked questions about my history might be intimidating at first, but I believe it'll be for the best. This way, the expert can recognize what might have triggered some of the problems I have with the way I look at and think about things since I may not have realized them myself. I'll go and ask about this when I get some help from a counseling expert in the area.
11/9/2022 03:30:52 pm
Thanks for mentioning that your therapist seeks to understand more about you. I have wanted to see a counselor for several months to deal with my anxiety. It has been really bad since I gave birth three months ago, and I don't know who I can talk to about it.
2/13/2023 02:36:48 pm
It's good to know that you need to know your family's history with mental health, along with reasons why you want to get therapy. For the past couple of months, I have been in a very depressed mood, and since nothing seems to be making me feel better, I want to look into trying therapy. I'll keep these tips in mind as I search for a therapist to see!
2/16/2023 10:29:12 pm
Thank you; if you indicate that you would like to continue counseling, you and your therapist will decide together when you should return. Due to her job, my sister is stressed. I'll advise her to contact a counselor and schedule an appointment.
3/27/2023 09:17:01 am
I've been really stressed lately, so I'd like to visit a mental health specialist. It would be good to have someone who can help me out with setting treatment goals. That seems like an effective way to overcome my stress.
Leave a Reply.
Written by our counselors to help promote your help, hope, healing