What to Expect in Your First Therapy Session
From our Founder, Carly Webb
Meeting a therapist for the first time can feel quite daunting. We know that many people will struggle for months – or even years – before they reach out for help. We tend to be far better at caring for others than we are at caring for ourselves. If you're wondering if therapy is for you, or you're unsure what to expect in your first session, read on and I'll walk you through.
Accepting that you may need some extra help or support is a huge step. It doesn’t mean you’re flawed, or ‘broken’, but that you’re going through something, and it’d be easier to move forward with professional help. You might have a diagnosed mental health condition, have worrying symptoms or be navigating through some of life’s challenges – whatever your reason for coming to therapy, you’re likely to be feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Once you’ve booked your first session, take a moment to breathe and acknowledge the step you’ve taken. It’s not easy to admit when you're struggling, but attending your first therapy session is a big step towards feeling stronger and in control again.
So, what is the first session actually like?
Will there be endless questions? Will you be grilled on your childhood? Will you lie on a couch?
Let's remove some of the mystery...
At Vitus Wellbeing, your first session is called an ‘introductory session’ and it’s all about suitability. Your therapist will meet you at the building entrance and show you the way to our suite of light, calming therapy rooms, where you can sit comfortably (no lying down required!).
Sessions last for 50 minutes, unless you’re attending as a couple or family, in which case they’ll likely be longer.
Therapy is most effective when you have a great relationship with your therapist.
We aim to match you with a specialist you can really connect with, build trust with and feel comfortable opening up to. You may not want to bare-all straight away, and that’s absolutely fine. Our therapists are all wonderfully warm and easy to-talk-to – they’ll manage the sessions and progress at a pace that you feel ready for. The introductory session is an opportunity for you to meet your therapist and get a feel for them – you don’t have to reveal all if you don’t feel ready.
Your therapist will ask why you’ve decided to come to therapy. They’re keen to know what you’ve been struggling with so they can decide how best to help you.
There’s never any judgement in a therapy session – your therapist wants to understand what it’s like to be you, living your life.
They may ask about things that make the problem better or worse and how your daily life is impacted, or what you’d like to achieve in your future. It's totally fine if you don’t have the answers straight away, just let them know.
Towards the end of the introductory session, your therapist will say whether they think they’re well-placed to help you. There’s a chance for you to ask any questions you might have, and then you can head home, feeling a little lighter for starting to talk about your difficulties.
We suggest our clients take some time to think before committing to any further sessions.
There’s no obligation to keep seeing your therapist after the first session, but you’ll be very welcome if you’d like to. If it doesn’t feel right, let us know and we’ll happily try again to find the perfect fit for you.
Starting therapy needn't be frightening. We're here to help and will willingly talk things through if you have any questions. Your mental health is our priority.
To book your first therapy session, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07429 473199.