The First Session: What to Expect
Many people find that they feel anxious about an initial meeting with a psychologist. They are typically either unsure of what to expect from the session or nervous about the prospect of having to reveal so much to someone they don't yet know very well. While these concerns are certainly reasonable, a first appointment can be a very positive experience, often bringing about feelings of both relief and hopefulness.
The initial appointment is an opportunity for you to share with me what has brought you into therapy. I will encourage you to explain any issues and concerns in as much detail as feels comfortable, asking questions to stimulate discussion when appropriate. People often don't know exactly what or how much to share; in these cases, I will do my best to guide you. We will cover a wide variety of territory during the first session, including, but not limited to: relationships (with family members, friends, co-workers, etc.), emotions, thought patterns, previous experiences with therapy, physical and mental health history, and lifestyle and hobbies.
Of course it will take more than one meeting for me to really get to know you, but I will certainly share my initial impressions with you at the end of our first session. We will also discuss what therapy might look like from that point forward should you continue to meet with me. In the event that I feel like a medical referral (to a psychiatrist, for example) would be helpful, we can review your options and I can make a recommendation.
We will also discuss fees and insurance, and you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you have.