An Insider Look at What Happens in a Therapy / Counselling Appointment
It’s time. You’ve taken that first difficult step and your first therapy appointment is booked. Don’t fret if you feel nervous about going in! Here is what you can expect your first appointment to look like:
- If you’re in a waiting room, you will be greeted by your therapist, who will lead you to the office where you will meet. I typically spend the first few minutes introducing myself, offering some water, and showing you where you can seat yourself.
- We go over the consent form. Since I have electronic forms, you will have received and signed the consent form online prior to our meeting. Other therapists have hard-copies. Regardless, reviewing the consent form is essential in the first meeting. This is a good time to ask any questions about the form, such as your confidentiality, file storage, etc.
- We talk about what brought you in. I typically request as much information as one feels comfortable sharing in the first session. However, the more information we can gather, the better, in my opinion.
- I ask questions about certain details I might need, such as more detailed descriptions of your concerns, medical history, medication or substance use, and so on. This step, along with the previous one, can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes, depending on the concern.
- We do some basic, simple, goal-setting.
- I go over a rough treatment plan and explain my modality preference, treatment style, and homework.
- We wrap up. This is where I might ask if I have missed anything or if there’s anything else you’d like to add.
- We book the next appointment and complete payment.
First appointments can be a little nerve-wracking, however, they are key to you getting the help, support, or treatment you need. Remember that you do not have to commit to working with any professional until you feel comfortable. Take your time when picking your clinician, and feel free to ask questions.
If you found this post helpful, watch out for the next post – How to Prepare For Your First Appointment.