After scheduling an appointment with a therapist, there are a number of concerns that can come up, what do I have to fill out, what do I bring, what will this feel like, etc. This is why we here at Coherence Associates want to help you out with this as much as possible.
Show Up Early
Your first visit to your therapist is a ‘fact finding mission’, this is where your therapist meets you for the first time and begins to understand who you are and what your goals are. If you show up early to fill out your paperwork, it will leave more face time with the therapist, and will help them get a clearer picture of where you want to go in therapy. Paperwork will only take about 10-15 minutes.
Know Your History
Sometimes it can be difficult to remember things in the heat of the moment, when you are being asked questions or when emotions are high. Since this is often the case in therapy, writing down the important things you need to tell your therapist, and bring up with him or her, can often help you tell them everything they need to know without worrying about forgetting the most important part. Don’t worry if you miss something, or this is too hard at first, your therapist will be there to help you if you stumble, and is trained to help you figure out what you need.
Know Your Goals
Many times we enter therapy with specific goals, be it healing from trauma, getting over procrastination, getting along better with our partner, etc. Knowing what these goals are can help streamline treatment and help you get off to a good start. Writing down the top three things you want to accomplish in therapy can provide guideposts and benchmarks for how your treatment is going. Often times goals can change over time as we learn more about ourselves, and even this change can be a significant sign of progress.
Be Easy On Yourself
You’ve made an appointment, which means you have already taken the first step to changing your life for the better; most people struggle to even get this far. Trust yourself that you made the right decision, and remember that you are embarking on a journey and not just a sprint to the finish line. No one wins a marathon by sprinting the first hundred yards, so even if you feel impatient, you are heading in the right direction, as opposed to feeling stuck. I know for myself that no one is harder on me than me, and this can make me doubt my decisions to help myself.
Hopefully that helps you feel more comfortable leading up to your first session. If you are reading this because you are thinking about therapy, feel free to give us a call at (760) 942-8663 for a free screening. If we aren’t the right fit for you, we will try and find who is.
By Jeremy Larsen, CATC-1
Business Development and Operations Manager
Coherence Associates Inc.