Taking the first step to finding a therapist is life-changing. But it’s one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself.
We want to make sure that you are doing the best that you can to make this process as seamless as possible. Therefore, we are providing resources to help you prepare for your very first therapy session.
Do your research. You know what you want out of therapy. Now find someone who provides it.
I get it. Financial limitations sometimes make you have to choose therapist that are in network with your insurance for treatment. But you still should be able to find something about your potential provider. Most therapists will provide some information on their insurance website, their business website, or the directory that you find them on. If they don’t have obvious ways of telling you who they are, you will have to be more intrusive. Google them on the Internet to see if they’ve published anything or have been affiliated with any other businesses. I also suggest that you see if you can find them on social media. Even though this might suggest a less professional view of your therapist, it will work wonders in letting you know their personal characteristics and see if those are compatible with what you’re looking for.
For instance, if you are seeking therapy based off of race related issues, seeing a therapist on Facebook with a Black Lives Matter banner will likely help to ease your anxiety about understanding race issues and add comfort to you.
Be prepared. Mental health care is a serious matter and it’s not something that you want to take lightly. Make sure that you schedule enough time to prepare for your mental health sessions even if you are receiving them by way of telehealth. While you won’t have to worry about the typical challenges of traffic and parking that you would for a face-to-face visit, it’s still imperative for you to make sure that you are not having to rush to get set up as other things could happen like your Internet to go out or your computer could freeze. Eat healthy so that you won’t be hungry during your session and also make sure you have some water nearby in case your throat gets too dry to talk.
Write down your questions. Understand that even though your therapist should be the expert on mental health, you are the expert for yourself. You know what you’re looking for and what helps you to succeed. You also know what types of things you hope to achieve from the therapeutic process. You know how you best learn and you also know what you do not like. Make sure you write down your questions so that you can ask me therapist in advance If they can meet your needs. If they cannot, ask them about what options they have to try to accommodate them.
Be open and honest about your feelings. It’s true that psychotherapy is a collaborative process and you should be working with a professional who knows mental health But you know yourself better than any therapist ever will. You know how you feel about certain situations and if you are getting what you need. If it any given time you feel like you’re not getting what you would like to get from the therapeutic process, you have every right to let your therapist know. A good therapist would welcome this feedback and want to continue to support you your expectations are within their scope of practice. If they are not, a professional therapist will make the appropriate referral.
In a nutshell, preparing for therapy is challenging, but not impossible. We hope that you have found this resource helpful to help you get there. For additional support please schedule your free, 15 minute consultation.