In my previous blogs I talked about How to Find a Winnipeg Therapist – Research and How to Find a Winnipeg Therapist – Interview and Consultation.
Now that you’ve made a connection with a counsellor near you and booked a first appointment, the next step in this process is knowing how to prepare for your first counselling therapy session.
Though it is the therapist’s job to help you figure out where to go after your first counselling therapy session, it is helpful for you to have a sense for what you’d like to get out of therapy.
Tips for How to Prepare for Your First Counselling Therapy Session
- Don’t overthink
Overthinking your first session may lead to an unnecessary amount of anxiety. Here are some tips to help lower your anxiety:
- You can come dressed however you like
- Come as you are. No pretenses needed. Just be YOU
- Speak as you speak with friends. This may include swear-words, or not. Just be YOU
- Feel free to bring coffee, water – your beverage of choice. Having a sip to drink can help lower your anxiety and allow you to get to work on what brings you into counselling therapy
- Not required, but you may want to consider bringing a pen and notebook/journal to write down important notes such as homework, reading material or videos we discuss, or important aha’s in session
- No need to have it all together. Remind yourself that you’re seeking therapy to help you figure things out – to get things together again. This will help you get to addressing the issues that bring you to therapy more quickly
- Expect a no-judgment zone. If your counselling therapist does not offer a judgment-free zone, they may not be the right fit for you
- Try your best to be on-time. Set an appointment reminder. This will allow you to utilize the full amount of time that’s set aside for YOU
- Make sure you know where you are meeting
- If you’re meeting in-person, it’s helpful to look up the location so you don’t have to feel anxious about finding your way
- If you’re meeting online, make sure you know how to log into the online meeting-link
- If you’re meeting via phone, make sure you have your phone ready and charged at the scheduled meeting-time
- Purpose for therapy
Knowing the purpose you are seeking therapy can help you clarify your reasons to seek help at this time. Ask yourself these questions:
- Why didn’t I seek help 6 months ago?
- Why am I not delaying therapy to 6 months from now?
- What is the #1 reason I am seeking therapy?
- If there is ONE thing I’d like to get out of therapy, what is it?
- If you’re a religious person, you’re welcome to bring that into therapy. If you’re not a religious person or your therapist’s religious convictions are different from yours, your counselling therapist should not impose their beliefs on you. If they do, they may not be the right fit for you
You are in control of your life, and that also applies to your work in counselling therapy. However, as is the case with anything else you do in life, the more invested you are in counselling therapy, the more effective therapy will be. Think of it this way: You’re in a relationship that’s very dear to you, but you don’t make much effort to spend quality time with this person. The relationship will likely not go anywhere without your investment. In the same way, therapy is only as effective as you make it. It is the therapist’s job to help you figure out a direction and keep you on track with this direction, BUT, without your investment, the pace of change will be significantly slower
Would love to hear from you even if you’re not ready to make a committment to an appointment. Feel free to call or email me today to request a FREE 15-minute phone or video consultation.