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What to Expect in Your First Therapy Session

Embarking on a journey towards mental well-being is a courageous step, and your first therapy session marks the beginning of this transformative process. At Therapy Austin, we understand that starting therapy can feel daunting, but we’re here to guide you through every step of the way. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through what to expect in your very first therapy session, so that you can feel empowered, and excited, to enter that therapy room!

Building Rapport

Your initial therapy session is an opportunity to feel whether or not your counselor is a good fit for you. You’ll likely spend some time getting to know each other, discussing your background, experiences, and goals. Pay attention to how you feel in the room.  While you may not feel completely comfortable, you should experience some amount of warmth and connection.  If you don’t, consider trying 1-2 more sessions to see if things improve.  If they don’t, let them know! They’ll be able to facilitate a transfer for you, with no judgment! What’s more, the session(s) you had with your current counselor will help inform and identify a better Agency Counselor for you.

Gathering Information

Your therapist will ask about things like what is bringing you to therapy, your medical history, current challenges, important relationships, family dynamics, your identity, and any previous therapy experiences to gain a comprehensive understanding of your needs.  This can take place over the first 1-3 sessions, although there is not a hard limit on how long it takes.  Your counselor will want to be thorough, but move at a pace that is comfortable for you. 

Clarifying Expectations

Open communication is at the heart of effective therapy. During your first session, your therapist will outline the therapy process and discuss confidentiality, boundaries, and expectations. It’s essential to address any questions or uncertainties you may have regarding the therapeutic relationship and the treatment approach.

Sharing Your Story

Although the first sessions are used for gathering information, your counselor will also invite you to share what you would like to share, even outside of their specific questions regarding your history.  Remember, this is your therapy, and your therapist will meet you where you’re at so that you can speak on what you need to, even in these initial, more structured, sessions. 

Setting Goals

Together with your therapist, you’ll collaboratively establish goals for therapy based on your concerns and aspirations. Goals can be specific or broad.  Some folks might come to therapy with really clear ideas about what they want to get out of it, and some might just want to feel better.  All goals are valid!  It will be up to you and your therapist to discuss how you want to measure those goals, and how you want to set up a treatment plan to achieve them. 

Sharing Feedback

The first session(s) is a great place to establish the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship, so if there is something that your therapist says or does that you don’t like, or makes you feel uncomfortable, then please let them know!  We invite and encourage collaboration and expression in sessions. They will be grateful to you for your honesty and vulnerability, and it will help foster a better relationship.  Likewise, if there’s something you particularly like about your therapist and/or their techniques, please tell them so that they can continue on that path.

Your first therapy session marks the beginning of a transformative experience towards self-discovery, healing, and personal growth. At Therapy Austin, we’re committed to providing you with the support, guidance, and compassion you need to thrive. We hope you can embrace this opportunity with an open heart and mind, and trust the process! 

Ready to get started? Fill out a request form. Have questions? Call (5120 201-4501 ext. 1 and speak with a member of our Client Care team.  We’re here to support you every step of the way. 

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