Things to Know Before Your First Therapy Appointment
Do you find your thoughts to be clumsy? Are you unable to think straight? Do you feel like you need to have a mental health checkup? No matter the reason, you have mustered the courage actually to visit a therapist, and that is the first step to solving the internal conflict that you may be feeling in your mind.
Now that you have decided to visit a therapist, you may be unaware of what your next steps need to be. Let us help guide you through some of the things that you may need to know when you decide to visit a therapist.
Understand your problem
Before you go to a therapist, it is first essential to know the kind of problem that you are undergoing. Not all therapists cater to all types of mental health problems. You must first identify if what you are experiencing is as a result of past trauma, some form of abuse, or any other issue. This will help you narrow down the therapists who are best suited for the problem you are undergoing and can select one amongst them.
Mode of therapy
These days technology has gotten advanced to the point that you may not have to leave the sanctity of your home to actually visit a therapist. You can book an appointment on online portals such as BetterHelp or can speak on helpline numbers that cater to these issues. Although it may be uncomfortable in the beginning to talk to a therapist since they are someone unknown, it is always advised to talk to them in person so that they can help you better.
Selecting the therapist
Once you understand what it is that you are going through or what it is that you wish to speak to a therapist about, you can go ahead and book an appointment with them. Most therapists offer a free phone consultation so you can ask for one as you call in to book an appointment. This way you can be rest assured as you go in to meet them. Also, don’t give too much weightage to referrals by family and friends, for the ones that worked for them may not do the trick for you.
To feel uncomfortable
Know that it is normal to feel uncomfortable before your first meeting and in some cases before every meeting. It isn’t exactly comfortable to speak of your experiences and all that you may be going through currently to a stranger. So if you experience this uncomfortable feeling, just remember that this is normal and may fade away once you develop a bond of trust with the therapist.
It is of utmost importance that you are honest with your therapist. No matter the topic at hand that you maybe discussing, ensure honesty is the card you play by for the therapist wont be able to help you resolve your internal conflicts. Inspite of the mode that you chose to speak to your therapist be it on calls, online sessions through BetterHelp, Betterlyf etc it is best to have a one-on-one conversation to avoid any misunderstandings or discrepancies.
Unless in cases where you absolutely cannot travel to them. Also remember, that the therapy sessions you have with the therapist are supposed to be private and confidential so they are legally bound to not reveal what you speak to them in your sessions. So speak without any hesitation or fear!
A difference of opinion
It is possible to have a difference of opinion with your therapist and that is perfectly normal. Remember to voice it out so that it can be resolved and understood to the therapist. Let them know when you agree with them and when you don’t so they understand your thinking process better. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t able to get you but this will help you and your therapist sync better with each other.
Most individuals feel that going to a therapist means that their problems maybe immediately resolved or that the therapist may have the solutions to all of their problems. This isn’t right. A therapist can help you untie your knots and guide you on your journey to resolving your issues but they cant tell you exactly what you must and mustn’t do it. also, in spite that you visit a therapist you still have homework to do that the therapist checks up on on your next meeting with them.
As the day arrives to meet your therapist for the first time, it is advisable that you go in for your session with absolutely no expectations of any kind. This will help you get a better first time experience. It is normal if the first therapist you choose isn’t the one that suits your needs. There are many that may not be able to settle in with their first therapist. But don’t lose heart and meet the next one and be rest assured for you will find one that understands you well.