It can be quite nerve-wracking when it comes to going for your first session. One of the common questions we get is on how to prepare yourself when going for your very first session. We hear you, and here are the things you can consider to make the most out of the experience:
Be Clear About Your Therapeutic Goals
It is always helpful for both you and your therapist when you have an idea on what you would like to work towards. Therefore, take some time to reflect on the issues or challenges you faced or are still struggling and write them down on your notepad. Coming from a therapist myself, trust me, we appreciate it when our clients care for their sessions enough to write your therapeutic goals down!
Choose the Right Therapist for You
I like to joke about how getting the right therapist is like getting the right person for a date. Finding a therapist who suits you can be a process of trial and error, but doing some research beforehand and choosing a therapist that specialises in the issues you want to address is a good starting point. If you are unsure where to start, Safe Space™ provides a questionnaire for their clients to help them get matched with the right therapist for them.
Keep an Open Mind
First sessions are critical when it comes to establishing a good therapeutic relationship which is the one thing that almost guarantees a good therapy session. Therapists are really there to help, and it will be useful to be open and forthcoming about your struggles. By offering more information to the therapists, they would then have enough information to work with. Therapy is a two-way conversation and if you are unsure or feel misunderstood, please feel free to be honest with your therapist.
Find Out Your Preferred Approach to Therapy
Every therapist has a unique approach or style when it comes to conducting sessions and helping their clients. You may prefer a more directive approach or one that is more collaborative. Modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Gottman Method, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy are some modalities that some therapists are trained in. If you have a preference for a particular modality, please feel free to let your therapist know so that they can advise whether such a modality works to address your issues and struggles.
Therapy is a journey, not a destination. It takes time to build trust with your therapist and to find the right approach that works for you. Be patient with yourself and the process, and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it.