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What to Expect on Your First Therapy Session

I'd been wanting to go to therapy for years. I wanted to talk to a neutral person about what I was going through and see what they'd say, without judgment.

Growing up I thought therapy was only for people that were really out of it, but, while in college, when I was minoring in Psychology, I realized that everyone should try out therapy.

I'd been told multiple times that I didn't need therapy because I coped with things fairly well, even a graduate intern from the counseling center at my university told me that (only after 3 30-min sessions).

They were right, but they were also wrong.

The way I cope with things is this: suck it up. That works great short-term. However, as I recently realized, that shit builds up, and the end result isn't the greatest. Additionally, sometimes, things you didn't even know affected you actually did, and it all comes out.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I built up the courage to go. I'd been putting it off for a while because: What if something is wrong with me? What will the Florida Bar think? What if I'm overreacting about my life?

I checked to see which psychologists were in my health insurance network, and I started calling. I made my appointment for 8am on 2/29/2020. Surprisingly (not), I overslept.

I rescheduled my appointment for 3/13/2020 at 12:30 pm, but I drove to the wrong location which was 30 minutes away from the actual location.

Finally, I was successful on my third attempt. I was really nervous while sitting on the waiting area. I mean, what was my therapist going to ask me? This is what happened:

1. I filled out paperwork.

This took about 20-30 minutes. The paperwork included medical history, HIPPA acknowledgment, payment information, insurance information, etc. Additionally, I was given a form with questions regarding my feelings during the past 6 months. I was also given a form that asked me how I felt that day.

2. The therapist and I talked.

Imagine live journaling but instead of writing, you're talking to your journal. She asked me what brought me in to see her, and then we started talking. Before starting my life story vomit, she informed me about the rules of confidentiality.

Basically, everything stays within the office, unless I tell her I might injure myself or someone else, and other few exceptions.

Once I began telling her my story, she asked a few questions every now and then to clarify the timeline and put together the puzzle that is my life, but none of her questions were judgmental or with a negative connote. She also asked me what I was trying to get out of therapy.

She wrote things down as I talked, but, how else was she supposed to remember everything?

The talk lasted about 40-60 minutes.

3. I scheduled my next appointment.

Once we were done talking, she gave me a recommendation regarding the frequency of my visits. For now, she recommended once a week. Thankfully, the drive is less than 15 minutes from my house.

My biggest disappointment with therapy was the absence of a big couch for me to lay on as I talked. Other than that, the first session was great.

First therapy sessions will probably vary from clinic to clinic, but this is what mine looked like. Additionally, I know that not everyone has health insurance. If you don't have insurance, try checking with a local university because sometimes they have low-cost therapy programs (this is what I did while in undergrad). If that doesn't work, try this.

Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite part about therapy is. Subscribe for more and share if you'd like. Additionally, let me know if there's anything you'd like me to write about.

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