First therapy session: Getting to know each other
It’s important to note that your first therapy session will look very different from ones after it. The first therapy appointment is all about getting to know each other, why you’re seeking therapy, and a plan to move forward with. At Best Within You, our psychologists take a holistic approach to therapy. Here are some examples of questions that your therapist may ask during the first therapy appointment. These questions will be tailored to why you are seeking therapy.
- How is your sleep?
- Any recent changes in your eating or appetite?
- What is your relationship like with your family and who is in your family?
- Who is in your social support system?
- What medications are you taking?
It is important to remember that as the client, you are in control. If any question feels intrusive and you don’t wish to answer, it is perfectly ok not to. However, if your therapist thinks it is an important question hopefully as you get more comfortable in therapy you will be better able to answer it. You are also more than welcome to ask your therapist questions about to make you feel more comfortable. Here are some questions you might consider asking.
- What is your educational background?
- What are you like to work with as a therapist?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- What area or areas do you specialize in?
- What is your approach to therapy?
First therapy session: Goals
The first therapy session also usually involves setting goals for therapy. Some common questions your therapist may ask to help with goal setting are listed below.
- What brings you to therapy?
- What do you feel could be improved in your life?
- What symptoms do you currently have that you want to work on?
At Best Within You, our psychologists go at your pace and allow you time to be able to express how you are feeling. We will also discuss meeting times and meeting frequency that work for you. At Best Within You, we offer both in-person and virtual appointments to make attending therapy as convenient as possible for you. If weekly appointments feel daunting at first, you are welcome to try meeting every other week or any other frequency that feels right. Your therapist will also provide their clinical opinion regarding the meeting frequency that will best help you reach your goals. Communication mediums between sessions will also be agreed upon whether it be via email, text, or phone. It is important to note that communication between appointments is typically just for scheduling purposes.
First therapy appointment: Confidentiality
During your first therapy session, your therapist will also discuss confidentiality matters with you. At Best Within You, confidentiality, or the promise that your privacy will be protected, is of the utmost importance. This means that not only is the information you share during sessions protected, but also the fact that you are in therapy is kept confidential. If someone were to call and ask if you were seeing a therapist at our practice, we would not be able to even share that information with them, unless you gave us written permission. Some of the ways in which confidentiality is protected are by not disclosing confidential information over text or voicemail, not discussing the content of your sessions with other parties, and not acknowledging a client in public if the psychologist happens to run into them. All of the psychologists at Best Within You are licensed professionals, meaning that they adhere to state laws regarding confidentiality as well as The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, also known as HIPAA, is a federal law that required the creation of standards for protecting sensitive patient health information from being shared without knowledge or consent of the patient.
Know that the therapists at Best Within You will keep your information confidential. However, the following are a few potential exceptions to confidentiality that your therapist will discuss.
- When there is serious concern that the client may hurt themselves or someone else
- When there is information disclosed about abuse of a child, elder, or disabled individual
- When the client has given explicit consent for information to be shared about their therapy (this is done through signing a release of information form)
- When the therapist receives a court order
At our practice, we send you the confidentiality documents to look at before your first session. Confidentiality is an important aspect of therapy so make sure your therapist makes it clear how he or she protects your confidentiality and what the exceptions are. If any part is confusing, don’t hesitate to ask about it.
After your first therapy session
After your first therapy session has concluded, take some time to examine how you feel. Here are some questions you can ask yourself.
- Did you feel comfortable talking to the therapist?
- Do you see yourself working with the therapist long-term?
- Did any aspect of the appointment make you uncomfortable?
- Do you feel like you can establish trust with the therapist?
- Did the environment (if in-person) feel comfortable?
The first therapy appointment is not a commitment from you to continue to work with your therapist. Finding the right fit, and someone you can trust is crucial. If you have considered the questions above and feel like the therapist is a good fit, then feel free to make a second therapy appointment and start working on the goals you set together. If not, don’t give up. It may take a couple of tries to find the right therapist for you and your needs. If you need help finding a new therapist, you can always ask the previous therapist you saw if they have any other therapists they can refer you to.
Schedule your first therapy appointment
Best Within You Therapy & Wellness has five licensed psychologists that are here to help you. Our psychologists specialize in a range of areas including eating disorders, body image, sleeping issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship difficulties, chronic pain, and more. If you feel ready to schedule your first therapy appointment or book a free 10 to 15 minute consultation click here https://bestwithinyou.com/appointment/. You are welcome to read our bios and see who feels like a fit. We also can ask you questions via email to help match you with the psychologist who we believe would be the best fit for you.
Thank you Rumi, Best Within You Therapy & Wellness Intern, for help with this blog post