Beginners Guide to Therapy

Starting therapy can seem intimidating at first, and you might have no idea what to expect or where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s what you should know about the start-of-therapy process.

 

Scheduling an Appointment

If you have phone anxiety or your average I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing anxiety, have no fear, because scheduling an appointment is easy. They might ask you a few questions about insurance and such, but otherwise the call is simply finding a date and time that works.

 

In Take

When you get there, they’ll probably have you fill out lots of paperwork. It will ask about reasons you’re there, your history, family history, problems you’ve been experiencing etc. It might feel awkward or uncomfortably personal, but don’t let it stress you out. Everything is kept confidential, and no one is going to judge your answers. It’s just an easy way for the therapist to get to know you and get some background before meeting you.

 

Meeting the Therapist

This part varies depending on who you’re seeing, but overall first appointments tend to be relatively similar. You’ll do introductions and the therapist will go over some basic good-to-know facts about therapy. After that, you’ll probably spend most of the appointment discussing background information just like the paperwork, talking about why you’re there, what you want to work on, etc. This part usually takes up the rest of the time, but before you leave the therapist will probably work with you on setting a plan for your next appointment (scheduling and what you’ll do).

 

Average Appointment

Therapy doesn’t have set in stone structure or rules, it’s an individual experience, and how it looks is different for everyone. While that uncertainty might seem intimidating, it’s pretty great in practice. The therapist will probably guide you through the process, but in the end, they’re there for you. What goes on during your sessions is largely up to you.

 

Junior at St. Catherine University, majoring in psychology.

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