No matter how much you may want to, you can’t just will yourself to stop using drugs or alcohol. It’s not that simple. If it were, addiction would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, addiction is a complex disease that requires professional help to overcome. However, don’t worry; addiction can be overcome! All you have to do is accept your condition and make an effort to seek help! There’s no shame in it!
It’s a significant step to decide to go to therapy. It might be tough to admit that you require assistance, and it may be even more challenging to take the first step in receiving it. You probably have many questions about what to expect from your first session if you’re considering therapy. Here is a little rundown of what to expect so you’ll know what to bring and how the session will go. Don’t worry, though; your therapist will be there to guide and support you through the entire process. So go ahead and take a breath; it’s time to get started on your road to recovery!
Where to Look for Help?
The best way to start any new chapter in your life is to face it head-on. It can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to look for help.
There are many places to find mental health support, online and in person. Your doctor may be an excellent place to start, or you could try searching for professional counseling or clinics. If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed, talking to someone who isn’t close to the situation can be helpful. Outsiders might be able to offer you an alternate viewpoint and some unemotional counsel on where you should go from here.
How to Choose a Therapist?
The most critical aspect of selecting a therapist is finding someone you feel at ease with. This individual will be your confidante, and you should feel free to discuss anything with them. You don’t want to feel judged or uncomfortable during your appointments.
Some other things to consider are:
- Whether the therapist has experience treating your specific issue
- How much they charge
- What their availability is
- Many therapists provide free consultation as an ice-breaking session
What to Expect from Your Therapist?
Therapists come from a variety of fields and specialties. Some therapists are more Freudian, while others may be more cognitive-behavioral. You don’t need to know what type of therapist you want before you start looking, but it can help research the different approaches.
Types of Therapies – an Overview!
There are several ways a therapist may assist you in resolving an issue. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and family systems therapy are the most common treatments.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
This type of therapy focuses on how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected. The therapist will help you identify harmful thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.
The therapist will understand your unconscious thoughts and motivations in this type of therapy. They will encourage you to talk about anything that comes to mind, no matter how embarrassing or taboo it may be.
Family Systems Therapy:
This approach looks at how your family dynamics impact your mental health. The therapist will help you identify any dysfunctional patterns and resolve them.
There are various therapies available, so it’s essential to find the one that best suits your needs. You may have to go through a few before finding the right fit. If therapy isn’t working first, don’t be discouraged; change takes time.
The First Session
Now that you’ve decided it’s time for therapy and found a therapist or clinic, it’s time for your first session! It is an exciting but nerve-wracking time, so here’s a little preview of what to expect.
Talk about Yourself:
First and foremost, the therapist will want to get to know you. They’ll ask about your:
- Mental health history,
- Current symptoms,
- Goals for therapy
- Family life
- Self-harm or suicide history
It is an integral part of creating a treatment plan that works for you.
Your therapist may also give you some homework assignments or tasks to complete before your next session. It could be anything from writing down your thoughts and feelings about a particular situation to reading up on specific topics related to mental health.
Got Questions? ASK!
It is okay to talk more than listen during your first therapy session. It is a time for you to get all of your questions answered and learn more about what to expect from therapy. If you don’t understand something, or if there’s something you’re not comfortable with, don’t hesitate to speak up.
You can ask the following questions from your therapist:
- What can I expect from therapy?
- How often will we meet?
- What is the treatment process like?
- Is this confidential?
- Could you tell me more about your education and experience?
Therapy isn’t a one size fits all approach. You may have to go through a few different therapists until you find the right fit for you.
What to Expect from Yourself?
Don’t be surprised if you’re feeling a range of emotions, both good and bad. It’s understandable to feel anxious or scared about therapy, but remember that the therapist is there to help. Be honest with them and open up as much as you feel comfortable doing.
Therapy sessions are designed to be a secure location where you may freely discuss your concerns and emotions. However, please remember that this is also a business environment. You should avoid swearing and slandering other people in the session.
Most therapy sessions last around 50 minutes, but they may vary depending on your therapist’s practice.
The Dos and Don’ts:
Keep in mind the following factors ahead of time:
- Do come prepared with any questions or concerns you may have.
- Don’t feel like you need to divulge too much information right away. Instead, take your time and share what you’re comfortable with.
- Be respectful of your therapist’s time and arrive on time for your appointments.
- Don’t hesitate to reschedule if something comes up and you can’t make it to your session.
Psychotherapy can help people with mental illness, but it is a long and challenging process. Don’t expect to achieve overnight results; therapy is a process that requires patience and dedication. Getting into counseling can be an extremely gratifying experience if you’re prepared to put in the effort. Thank you for reading; we hope you’re feeling a little less anxious about your first therapy session now!