What should I expect during my first therapy session?
The first appointment is about getting to know each other. If you are coming to address PTSD, we’re not going to dig straight into your trauma in this session. I’m looking to learn more about you, your life, your current coping strategies, what works, what doesn’t work, and the stressors in your life. I want to know what your average day looks like. I want to learn about the people who are important to you. I want to know what resources you have other than me.
In the first session we also want to talk about goals for treatment. What are you looking to accomplish? Why do you want to make these changes now? What has changed or not changed that made you decide that this is the time for therapy? Consider filling out this worksheet and bringing it with you to your session. It’s NOT homework, just some things to think about. (see documents section of website for a handout on therapy goals)
If you have ever been in therapy before, this first session is also a good time to talk about what worked and what did not work in the past. Was there anything that your last therapist did really well? Was there a particular reason that you stopped seeing that therapist or did you feel like treatment was successful? Is there anything that I can do to make therapy easier for you?
You are allowed to ask me questions too! I may ask why you choose to ask me some of the questions that you ask and that is specifically so that I can determine if it will be helpful or hurtful for me to answer. That sounds weird I know; it’s my job to make sure that our time is spent productively for your benefit since you are the paying customer.