11 Things You Must Know Before Your First Psychotherapy Session

All about Psychotherapy and Things You Must Know Before Your First Psychotherapy Session »

Introduction

Should I consider therapy?
Is my problem that big?
Maybe it’s just a phase!
But what if it isn’t?
Am I gone crazy? Of course not!
Then what’s wrong with me?
Who should I talk to?
Should I really get an appointment?
What if the therapy doesn’t work?
What will the therapist talk about?
I will have to revisit my fears… but I don’t want to!
What if she forces me to tell my personal stuff?
.
.
.
Is this you? If yes, this piece of article is for you. Dealing with an unfamiliar state of mind or an unidentified fear, with 100’s of questions, without any solution, is what every individual goes through before opting for psychotherapy treatment.
So, without wasting much time, let’s get started and check out if it can help you make the right decision.

Things You Must Know Before Your First Psychotherapy Session

Psychotherapy is nothing but a session between you and your therapist. You talk, you share, and you learn.

1. Choosing a Good Therapist

Today, it has become effortless to find one. With a quick online search, a list of the best psychotherapist will be at the distance of your click. Check out the websites and their respective profiles.
Usually, every psychotherapist holds expertise in a particular area. Check their profiles to get a deep insight into their area of expertise. For instance, some therapists may be stress management experts, while some may hold expertise in trauma.

You need to see who you connect to quickly. Then, of course, look for their credentials; go for the one who’s clear about his/her professional accreditation.

2. Acceptance is Half Battle Won

Let yourself know your worth. With this step, you have proved your fighter spirit. It takes immense courage, first to identify the problem and second to step forward to find a solution.

This single realization is the sign of you looking forward to addressing your issue. It gives you a sense of determination that ultimately smoothens the therapy process.

The actual therapy may take time, but half the work is done with this first prodigious initiative from your side. This means you are willing to find out and work on the problem instead of denying it altogether.

3. Be Honest and Crystal Clear

Your honest answers lay the foundation of your treatment and further actions. Therefore, it is crucial, to be honest with your therapist. Lying or manipulating stuff would only waste your time, with no significant results.

Remember, the therapist cannot read your mind, so it’s your responsibility to give them a clear picture of your feelings, emotions, and beliefs. There’s nothing to feel embarrassed about.

The issue can be resolved with you opening up about it. A therapist needs a glance through your life to determine the root cause of the issue. Do not hide any information.
Your therapist needs to get a complete idea of your life, nature, behavioral orientation, and thought process.

4. Do Not Decide Yourself What’s Important and What’s Not

Do not assume any information to be inappropriate or irrelevant. However insignificant for you, a piece of information may be a key trigger point for the therapist to understand you better.

Even if any of the information is an embarrassing episode of your life, do not hesitate to share your thoughts. Do not judge anything right or wrong yourself. Let the therapist build a perspective of his/her own.

It’s this basic and honest information that needs to be shared openly with the therapist to get as much as the output of the treatment. You need to share even the uncomfortable or embarrassing incidents without any guilt.

5. Don’t Be Shy

Remember, you are paying for this therapy, so it’s your responsibility and a right to understand what exactly is going on. Ask questions, do not shy away or fear. However silly, ask it.

It’s only apparent to have doubts regarding the session, overall treatment, but the critical point is to ask your queries to the therapist directly. The therapist has met 1000s of individuals like you, so chill, they won’t get angry or annoyed.

In fact, your questions or curiosity may click a conversation between you two. So, go ahead and ask questions about the session, the proceedings. Understand the procedure. Get comfortable around your therapist.

6. This Therapy is a Culmination of Your Past, and an Aid to Your Present and Future

During the treatment, the therapist engages you in different activities. In addition, he/she teaches you some fundamental skills to cope with your problem.

Therefore, whatever you learn from these sessions, or the overall therapy is an investment in the form of a box full of big hopes for your further venture. This box contains key strategies to survive in a tricky situation and skills to keep the triggers at bay.

7. Your Every Shared Word Assures Confidentiality

Confidentiality is one of the most robust professional ethics followed by every therapist. All of your shared information is secure and safe with the therapist, whose only objective is to find out relevant trigger points from your past to find answers for your present.

It’s the utmost responsibility of your therapist not to disclose any of the information with anyone unless and until it directly harms you. For example, if an individual is having suicidal thoughts, its but natural for the therapist to take prompt action as and when needed.

8. Keep Practicing All That You Have Learned

Therapy helps you manage and regulate your behavior and actions. Your every action is monitored, and the behavioral changes are structured accordingly.

Essential skills and behavioral traits will be focused on resolving the issues you are facing.

These skills and traits need to be practiced in between the two sessions to accelerate the treatment. This will also boost your confidence for the upcoming sessions.

9. Accumulate Your Thoughts In One Place Before Your Session

Before the therapy session, you should consider jotting down few points that you would like to share with the therapist.

It happens that many times, you can go blank during the actual session. Also, you may not get an appropriate expression to formulate your feelings and experiences and deliver them to the therapist.
Therefore, it is better to organize your thoughts in a diary before your therapy session.

10. Take a Break if Needed

Therapies are usually client-oriented. The therapy continues with your pace as a client. You can take as much time you want to open up. Therapists will never force you to respond immediately.

The entire procedure works according to you. Therefore, if you wish to slow down or take a break from the treatment, it’s absolutely alright. That’s the reason you should be open and transparent with your therapist.

Your every feeling and your every thought counts. If you need gaps between two sessions, it’s perfectly okay. You can talk to your therapist whenever and whatever you feel.

11. Great Things Come Out of Patience

Understand the difference between medication and therapy. It’s not like you take a pill, and you will feel better until morning. No, it doesn’t work like that.

Therapies need time. Therapies need patience. Every client is different, and so are their paces. It’s a slow process, and nothing is going to happen overnight. So, prepare your mind for the same.
Of course, it’s not that you will take years for therapy, but it’s not a single day job either! Therefore, do not expect a quick recovery.

Conclusion

Psychotherapy sessions are meant to resolve the core issues stuck deep into your thoughts. A therapist is a third person who can quickly analyze those aspects of your personality/behavior that may be troubling you, but at the same time, he/she is a friend you can trust wholeheartedly.

So, are you comfortable visiting your therapist now? Let us know what you think. Comment below.

References

  • https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/10-things-you-should-know-before-starting-therapy-0412184
  • https://insightfulcounselling.com/psychotherapy-all-that-you-should-know-about-the-treatment/
  • https://www.huffpost.com/entry/11-things-you-must-know-about-starting-therapy_b_12088830

Author Profile

Reena Goenka is an author of the Insightful Counselling & Training blog. She is a caring Mother, an understanding counselor, a healing therapist, a whiz consultant, an expert trainer, and a brilliant writer, holding expertise in Mental health, Psychotherapy treatments, Emdr therapy, and Professional Counseling.


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Post updated in October 2021