3 Helpful Tips to Prepare For Your First Therapy Session
You’ve done the research, connected with a therapist, and scheduled your first session. But now, you may be wondering what to do next.
Scheduling your first therapy session is an amazing first step, but what should you expect? How should you prepare?
Here at KMA, we’re here to empower you throughout your therapy process, from beginning to end.
KMA psychotherapist, Arshiya Choudhury, has provided three insightful tips to help you get the most out of therapy, starting with your very first session.
By the end of this article, you’ll have three helpful strategies to have a successful first therapy session, and the resources you need to make the most out of your therapy process.
1. Come To Therapy With an Open Mind
Even after booking your first appointment, it’s common to have reservations about the therapy process.
However, keeping an open mind will help you get the most out of your experience.
Staying open to the therapy process means:
- Completing any homework that your therapist assigns you
- Telling your therapist the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable
- Showing up as your whole self (not hiding parts of who you are)
- Come prepared with an idea of what you’d like to talk about in your session
Following these suggestions can help you make better progress in your therapy sessions.
2. Trust Your Intuition About Your Therapist
Even after doing extensive research, you won’t truly know if your therapist is the right fit for you until you sit down and speak with them.
During your first session, you’ll be able to get a feeling for your therapist, and, likely, you’ll intuitively know if you’re comfortable with them.
Some other ways to know if your therapist is the right fit include:
- Your therapist is easy to talk to
- They make you excited for future sessions
- They help you meet your goals and have productive therapy sessions
- They create an environment where you feel safe expressing your authentic self
If your therapist doesn’t end up being a good match, that’s okay. Many people may see a couple of different therapists before finding one that sticks.
At the same time, it can sometimes take a few sessions to build rapport with a therapist – you may find that your relationship with your therapist gets better with every session!
If your first therapy session has left you feeling uncertain, try to explore why you aren’t connecting with your therapist, and think about what could have improved the session you had with them.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind – It’s Your Journey
You may feel like you should let your therapist lead all of your conversations – they’re the expert, and you’re here because you want their support.
However, your opinion is just as important as your therapist’s.
“This is a journey for you – don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel that the goals and direction of therapy aren’t going in the way you’d like it to,” says Arshiya.
It’s your therapist’s job to:
- Create a customized plan based on your needs
- Help you establish and meet your goals in therapy
- Address any negative symptoms you’re experiencing
- Ensure that you’re having a valuable and meaningful experience in therapy
We’ve compiled an extensive list of 22 Questions to Ask Your New Therapist so that you feel prepared to take control of your first session.
Next Steps to Prepare for Your First Therapy Session
After reading this article, you’re equipped with three helpful tips and plenty of resources to set you up for success in your first therapy session.
Here at KMA, we’ve been matching clients with their ideal therapist for over 14 years. We offer Introductory Sessions to ensure that you’re matched with the best therapist for you and create your customized therapy plan.
If you’re not yet ready to book your introductory session, read these resources for more information:
- If you’re wondering how many therapy sessions you should attend to see progress, read: How Often Should I Attend Therapy?
- If you’re still hesitant about the therapy process, read: The 5 Most Common Misconceptions About Psychotherapy
- For more information on the structure of an introductory appointment, read: What Should I Expect in a Therapy Introductory Appointment?