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What can I expect

The First Visit

The first time you go to therapy the therapist will go through the process of trying to get to know you, whether it be online or face to face the process is the same. They will ask questions in order to assess and identify your potential problem. They might ask you about history (e.g. childhood, education, relationships). It is in this visit that financial arrangements will be made for payment, contracts will be made, and time of sessions will be confirmed.

What You Should Ask

During this initial visit it is important that you get to know your therapist as well. If there are any questions that you have for them it is important that you ask them up front. You will want to make sure that they are a good fit for you in order to optimise your time with them. Some questions that could be helpful are:

  • Where did you receive your training and how did it help you to become a therapist?
  • Do you have specialised training in my area of difficulty? If so, what was it?
  • What professional associations are you a member of?
  • What are your fees?
  • What type of therapy do you use?
  • Tell me about the structure of my sessions, how long will they be, what will happen, and how often should we review them to see if were making progress

The Therapists role

In each therapy session the therapist will provide support in helping you learn to help yourself. They might ask you questions, but will often listen to you talk. The questions that they ask will be used to help guide you to the route of the problem, or possible solutions. The goal will always be to help you realise the struggles and the solutions within you.

A therapist will strive to make therapy (online or face to face) a safe place for you to express yourself. This is done in part by ensuring that anything you say in a therapy session is completely confidential. They should have procedures in place to make sure that anything you discuss is not disclosed to other people. Part of making the environment safe will also involve how they address you and your concerns. Your therapist will never judge your thoughts, actions, fears, or feelings. While they might provide you with questions in order to help you think about the origins of your feelings/actions, they will not judge you for them. They will help you to accept them for what they are.

With the therapist’s guidance and support, one goal will be to help you discover the underlying cause of the struggle that brought you to them. Another goal will be to help you discover strategies that will help you to cope with those struggles, and any that occur moving forward. Through learning these skills you will be able to eventually regulate yourself. It is important to remember that you are the key member of this team. Without your participation progress won’t be made. The therapist’s job is to guide you back to balance, but they need your involvement in order to be successful.

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