What To Expect- First Therapy Appointment
The First Appointment
How To Prepare For Our First Therapy Meeting
- Make sure you have a private space in your home, office or apartment and are able to
- Set aside 50-60 minutes of time weekly or bi-weekly to connect with your therapist via video.
- You must be located in the state of Massachusetts when on the session.
- Please wear headphones with a microphone as that will keep the conversation confidential and reduce distractions, allowing us to hear each other better. This is especially helpful if you share your living space with others.
- Consider also how you will let housemates, family members, and/or colleagues know that you are unavailable and need uninterrupted time.
- You will need a laptop, tablet, computer, or cell phone that has a camera as well as a strong, secure internet connection.
- Some people find it helpful to use a white noise machine or equipment to play music or white noise if they are concerned about sound traveling.
- You will want to make sure that your phone and email are turned off and that all browsers (other than your telehealth platform) are closed on your computer. This will help with internet speed and connection.
In general, we want to treat a telehealth session just as you would a face-to-face session. For example, during a face-to-face session, you would not be answering calls, texting, or responding to emails. We want to make sure that you are protecting your telemental health time by engaging in these very same practices.
What You Can Expect During Our Initial Session Together:
I am looking forward to getting to know you better and working together! It takes a lot of courage to start therapy so it might be helpful for you to give yourself some credit for doing so.
If this is your first experience with therapy, I completely understand that you may feel a little nervous about what to expect. Therapy is a judgment-free process so no worries about any anxiety or nervousness as this is a normal reaction to this new situation.
During our first session, you can expect us to go over a few things:
- We typically do some administrative work and assessment work in the first few sessions and less of that as therapy progresses. We will discuss any questions you have regarding the New Client Forms.
- We will get into more depth about what is going on for you and begin to establish some therapeutic goals that you would like to accomplish during your time working with me. You are always welcome to ask any questions you may have about goals and the therapy process.
- At the close of our session, you will have an opportunity to schedule your next appointment.
After Your Session Concludes
A therapy session can bring some intense emotions to the surface, and it is a good idea to allow yourself to sit with those emotions. Try to schedule some time for post-session reflection. Some things that can help during this time include:
- Write down any important points that came up in a notebook or journal to express your thoughts and feelings
- Meditate, practice Mindfulness
- Practice Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, light stretches, and/or breathing exercises
- Engage in activities that ground you in the present, such as listening to music, or going for a walk
- Read a book or listen to a podcast
We typically review these best practices for grounding and managing thoughts and emotions in therapy so don’t feel you need to be experienced in these or even attempt them on your own. Also, we advise that you rule out any medical causes of your symptoms by meeting with your primary care doctor. Your primary care doctor should also be able to tell you if have any restrictions with any of the above interventions before engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
Stages of Therapy
Therapy is not a quick fix. It is realistic to expect that it will take some time. The length of time it takes for therapy to be effective can vary depending on the type of therapy used and the individual’s specific needs. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) usually requires weekly sessions over a period of 12 to 20 weeks. However, often patients and therapists will continue treatment over longer periods of time to achieve more complete symptom remission. Therapy is a process and a practice and is known to go through several stages. To learn more about what to expect in therapy read: “What Are The Stages Of Therapy I Can Expect?”
Therapy is one of the greatest gifts one can give oneself and their loved ones. It provides us the opportunity to explore our successes, hardships, stressors, and questions without judgment. It can be a cathartic, liberating, and transformative experience.
If you haven’t already schedule an appointment. Contact us to schedule an appointment and see if therapy with us is right for you.