What happens in the first appointment?
For many people who have never tried counselling or psychotherapy, the idea of attending the very first session can be intimidating. All you might have to compare it to is what you’ve seen on tv, read about online, or experiences friends or family may have shared. You might imagine laying on a couch while your therapist sits in a chair asking you to recall dreams. Since therapists have different personalities and work from different therapy approaches the possibilities within a session from therapist to therapist could be quite diverse.
At Mendable, we try to create a comfortable and relaxed environment. We find that holding a warm drink can be centering and delicious; you are welcome to help yourself to one from our coffee bar or bring along your own. We then find our seats in the therapy office and spend the next hour getting to know you – at our office this is typically chairs facing across from each other. Your therapist normally will spend some time introducing themselves and the process of therapy to you, which includes specific expectations for therapy called consent. If you have filled out forms in advance of your appointment using the online portal, your therapist will likely have some follow up questions based on the information you provided. Your therapist may also write down important things you say during the session. By the end of the appointment, you will ideally be able to describe the goals you wish to achieve in therapy and a framework of the approach that you and your therapist plan to take to get there.
Since there are so many different ways that therapy can be done, it could include things such as using a white board or drawing out ideas, focusing on body sensations or movements, tracking emotions, thoughts, or behaviours, or homework and/or book recommendations between sessions. At Mendable, we value using a collaborative approach, meaning that the therapist and client decide together on what would work best for the client. Keep in mind that your input is very important as you know yourself better than anyone else.
*Please be advised that the information in this post is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, consult with a psychologist, physician, or other healthcare professional.