What to Expect
First know that it’s 1000% okay (and totally normal) to feel nervous about starting therapy.
I mean, come on, you’re about to talk to a total stranger! And if that nagging, negative voice is telling you all sorts of scary stuff about what might happen (“She’ll judge me, I’m a total failure, I’m totally broken and can’t be fixed, etc…”), it can stop you from getting the support you deserve.
Know this: that nagging negative voice is full of it and a total liar.
To help ease some of your worries and get you more familiar with therapy, here’s an overview of how to get started and what to expect in your therapy sessions.
- Call me (or fill out a contact form) for a free phone consultation. This is where you and I determine if we would be a good fit to work together. I’ll ask you some questions, tell you about me and how I work, and if you want me as your therapist we will schedule your first session.
- If we aren’t a good fit, no worries. I’ll offer you referrals for other therapists or services that I think might help you. Either way, you’ll leave that call with more knowledge and support than before the call.
- Once you’re scheduled, I’ll set you up in my online client portal, where you will complete the required online paperwork prior to our first session.
- You come to the office for your first session. Have a seat in the lobby and I’ll come get you at the start of your appointment. (Directions are here)
What happens in a therapy session?
The main focus of your sessions will be what’s happening right here and now. I will ask you questions, ask you how you are feeling, and yes, I will ask about your childhood and your parents in the beginning. This helps me understand your background and world better.
What’s most important is what is happening in your life day to day and week to week. What’s a good day look like? How about a bad day? What is that nagging negative inner voice telling you when you feel your worst? What do you want from life? What do you wish was different right now? Asking questions is how we will get to know each other and get clear on your therapeutic goals, and how you see success.
I’m not your “woo woo” or “new age-y” type of therapist. Expect humor, an occasional cuss word (sometimes an f-bomb can be quite therapeutic), honest and bold truth, compassion, empathy, and respect. I promise I’m not scary or judgmental.
It will take time for you and me to get to know each other and for you to feel more comfortable and relaxed in our sessions. After a few sessions you will get into a familiar rhythm as you enter the session and start talking. This is also why I require my clients to attend weekly at the beginning of their work. It speeds up the process and helps build momentum toward your goals.
Bring a notebook/journal to your sessions. You will want to take notes and remember what you talked about. Many of my clients will jot down a few items that come up throughout the week and then discuss those items in session. Instead of “oh I wish I had remembered to talk about that in therapy” write it down, and bring it in. Even if you feel like you have 4 totally different topics written down, bring it in. There could be an underlying theme that is worth exploring – that part is my job and I love it.
I am an analytical and holistic thinker, which means, I love the details and all the data, but need a big picture view to help the details make sense.
It’s a team approach. You bring in the data and details, together we create the big picture (i.e. the changes you want to make), I help us make it all make sense.