- Posted by Jon Harju
- On November 27, 2019
We have come a long way in embracing therapy and mental health support. However, stigma and barriers still exist and hold people back from booking a much-needed first-time therapy appointment.
Many of us struggle with our mental health, yet only 1 out of 3 people seek and receive the mental health support they need and deserve.
Seeing a therapist for the first time can be anxiety-provoking in itself. The thought of sharing information about your problem, your life, your relationships, your background — with a person you don’t know– can feel so daunting that it may prevent you from scheduling an appointment.
But know you’re not alone in your apprehension and nerves. Here are 4 ways to help you embark on your first therapy session with confidence.
- Prepare yourself
The first therapy session is primarily an opportunity for the therapist to gather information. They will ask what brings you to seek support, along with questions regarding your history, relationships etc. Jot down some of your thoughts and feelings on paper or your phone. Sometimes it’s difficult to identify and verbalize your feelings, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar situation. Notes can help you feel more in control of what you would like to share with your therapist during your first appointment.
- Honesty is best
It’s important to be honest with your therapist. You’re in a safe environment and therapists are there to help you, not judge. They understand some details may feel difficult or embarrassing to talk about, but it’s important to share honestly so they can provide the right treatment for you.
- Rapport is essential
Your relationship and rapport with your therapist is the best indicator of success when it comes to your therapeutic journey. Sometimes we let first impressions get the better of us, so it’s essential to give the therapist a fair chance. If, after some time, you don’t feel a connection with your therapist, it’s okay to seek the expertise of another mental healthcare professional.
- It’s okay to be nervous
It’s a perfectly normal response to feel nervous before talking to a therapist for the first time. If you don’t know what to say, communicate this to your therapist and they will guide you. Remember, you are in a safe environment, and there is no judgement on how you feel or behave.
You’ve got this!
It can be difficult to decide and take the initial step of seeking professional mental health support. Therapy can help you deal and reframe troubling issues and also help prepare you for future challenges and stressors.
Download Snapclarity to complete your free mental health assessment.