What to expect during our first meeting:
Understandably, many people feel anxious thinking about seeing a new therapist.
Talking to someone new can feel stressful.
Asking for help may feel new and a little uncomfortable.
Most clients find it helpful to remember that whatever they say in therapy is confidential with a few rare exceptions detailed in the practice guidelines form linked here.
Bear in mind that after more than 26 years of clinical experience, I know which questions to ask and which issues to explore in our first meeting.
You need not run the session. I’ve got it.
I’ve yet to hear a client say that the first meeting was awful or a waste of time. Really.
The initial meeting is different than regular sessions.
It’s really a chance for us to get to know each other.
I’ll ask you questions about your current situation,
past history, and what you hope to gain from therapy.
I may ask you to fill out some rating scales.
I just ask that you’re as honest and open as possible.
If you’d prefer not to answer a question or aren’t sure of an answer, just tell me.
There really are no”right” answers.
I’ll do my best to answer any questions you may have.
If I don’t know, I’ll tell you- and do my best to find out.
We’ll talk about our impressions and whether this seems like a “good fit”.
If we agree that it makes sense to move forward, we’ll schedule the next two therapy sessions (and a parents-only session for adolescents or young adults living at home).
We’ll work together and discover which supports and approaches are most appropriate for you.
We might decide to work together for a relatively brief period (6-8 sessions) or embark on a longer journey.
I prefer to start out with weekly sessions so we can get to know each other and start working on the issues that brought you into therapy. After we’ve established a good, working relationship and you feel you’ve made progress, it makes sense to consider less frequent sessions.
I’m always interested in your perceptions about how we’re doing and whether you feel we’re making
progress on your goals and needs.
I believe that regular, honest, and mutual feedback is a crucial component of the therapy process.
Your feedback is always appreciated.