I get it—therapy doesn’t sound like an enjoyable way to spend your time. If you’ve never gone to therapy before, it might seem scary or uncomfortable. Fortunately, you don’t have to be at a low point in life to benefit and/or enjoy the therapeutic experience AND there are other ways to improve your mental health outside of therapy! (I’ll elaborate on this at a later time.)
There are a variety of reasons why people decide to give therapy a try. Maybe it’s a mood disorder, significant life change, career uncertainty, relationship issues in marriage or family, or maybe just needing a fresh perspective on a challenge situation. There can definitely be a lot of nerves going into a new situation and it can be intimidating to discuss personal matters with a stranger.
However, an experienced therapist will help to lead you down the path you are trying to go. They can help you in the areas that you need, even if you don't know exactly what it is you're looking for. If traditional therapy is inconvenient or seems too intrusive, you can always ask about telehealth options.
Regardless of why you decide to go, here is what to expect from your initial therapy session with Forward Counseling.
Before your session keep in mind (or write down) your goals for therapy, as well as your concerns or experiences with therapy in the past. Share what was helpful in the past and what wasn’t. As a therapist, I am willing to meet you where you’re at and appreciate the input. I always encourage a collaborative approach when forming a treatment plan.
The first therapy session is very similar to the first time that you meet anyone else - there are A LOT of questions right away. Part of the initial session is the always fun PAPERWORK! You will need to complete several forms with questions and also to review policies and give your consent for treatment.
During the initial therapy session, we will discuss the major life areas and gather background information to get a glimpse into experiences that have made you into the person you are today. I'll ask questions related to your physical health, mental health, education, work, and family history. We will also discuss a plan for treatment and services going forward. And of course, you are welcome to ask questions as well - in fact I’ll insist that you do!