Setting Your Therapy Goals
This is your session, your time. You can set a general objective and goal for what you want to achieve with your therapist, but also keep an open mind that each session may flow in ways you don’t expect.
Identifying objectives: Reflect on what you hope to achieve in therapy, whether it’s gaining coping mechanisms, emotional understanding, or tackling specific problems.
Creating a wish list: Note down a few key issues you wish to explore. This clarity will help guide your therapist’s approach.
Gathering Personal Information
Medical history: Be ready to share your medical history and current medications, especially if referred by a doctor.
Life story: Prepare to discuss your personal history, but remember, you can choose what you’re comfortable sharing. You don’t need to share everything in your first appointment.
What to Expect During the First Session
Your session may look different depending on your therapist, but in general, therapy is a joint effort aimed at working through your challenges. You can expect to explore your inner world in depth. Therapists provide a non-judgmental space for you to express yourself.
The first session is often about creating a connection and understanding your background and goals. Expect some initial assessment to tailor the therapy to your needs.
Therapists are skilled at helping you navigate strong feelings in a supportive environment. It’s common to cry during therapy as you delve into emotional topics. It’s also normal to feel apprehensive about sharing personal details. Your therapist will respect your pace. Over time, trust will build, making it easier to share and delve deeper into your issues.
After the session, it’s beneficial to spend some time reflecting on what was discussed, how you felt during the session, and any new insights you gained. You may want to ensure you are not going straight back to a stressful activity and give yourself time. Some therapists may suggest calming activities such as breath work, meditation, a bath, or a walk.
- Written by First Sessions Editorial Team