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10 Tips for Starting Therapy for the First Time

Therapy is a big step! Congratulations! But it can be intimidating if you are not sure what to do in order to make the most out of your experience. Check out the tips below for therapy 'first timers'.


Going to therapy for the first time can be a daunting experience, but it can also be a very rewarding one! It can be helpful to remember that everyone is different, and everyone's experience with therapy is unique. It's also important to keep an open mind and to be honest with your therapist. It can be nerve-wracking to discuss personal issues with someone you don't know, but rest assured that your therapist will be there to provide a safe and supportive environment. Everyone's journey with therapy is different, but if you keep an open mind and be honest about your thoughts and feelings, it can be a powerful experience.


Check out these tips below for more insight on how to make the best out of your therapy experience.


Tip #1 - Be Prepared


Be prepared. Before your first therapy session, make sure to research the type of therapy you’ll be engaging in, look into the therapist’s credentials, and make sure you have a list of questions or topics you’d like to discuss.


Tip #2 - Right Fit


Choose the right therapist. Not every therapist is right for everyone. Make sure you find someone you feel comfortable with and can trust. Check out their About Me section on their website, see if they have any videos of them talking, and take note of how you feel in the first session. By the end of the first session, or the intake session, you will generally know if you feel comfortable with your therapist.


Tip #3 - Realistic Expectations


Set realistic expectations. Therapy takes time. Don’t expect miracles after the first session. It’s important to remember that it takes time to build a relationship and to work through issues.


Tip #4 - Open and Honest


Be honest and open. To get the most out of therapy, you need to be open and honest with the therapist. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings and experiences.


"I believe that a different therapy must be constructed for each patient because each has a unique story." – Irvin D. Yalom

Tip #5 -Patience


Be patient. Therapists will often ask questions that might take time to answer. Don’t be afraid to take your time and think before responding.


Tip #6 -Take Notes


Take notes. It can be helpful to jot down notes after your session to help you remember key points discussed and to track your progress over time.


Tip #7 -Set Goals


Set goals or intentions for what you want to achieve. Think about what you want to get out of therapy and make sure to discuss this with your therapist.


Tip #8-Ask Questions


Ask questions. If there is anything you don’t understand or want to know more about, make sure you ask.


Tip #9 - Be Proactive


Be proactive. It’s important to take the initiative and practice what you learn in therapy between sessions.


Tip #10- Stay Focused


Stay focused. Try to stay focused on the topics discussed in each session and don’t get sidetracked by irrelevant issues.


And most importantly...

Take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on taking such a major step to healing and growth!

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