Over half of my clients have never been to counseling before. The sheer mystery of "what happens next" can be scary enough to give you 1,000,000 butterflies - am I right? No fear, here's a simple breakdown of what you can expect for your first time.
You'll enter our guest lobby and be greeted by the aroma of a candle and soft music playing in the background. The space is quite refreshing, and you'll be able to choose a beverage to sit on while you wait for your appointment to get started.
When it is time for your session, I'll come up front and introduce myself! At this point, you will know more about me than I know about you. While clients are required to fill out their forms online before session, I generally only take a glance. I want you to be able to share your story in the way that you want.
Your therapeutic space is very comfortable. Sound machines are in the hallways in order to best absorb any distractions outside of the room. You'll get to take a seat on the couch, kick off your shoes, and grab a blanket if you'd like. Or not. Whatever makes you happy.
I may ask if you prefer direct questions or to speak your stream-of-consciousness. Either way, I'll listen to the specifics of what you are needing. Expect a laid-back atmosphere, much like we were meeting at Starbucks and chatting over a cup of coffee (well, for me, it would be a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. My one and only Starbucks indulgence!).
After forty-five minutes, I'll give you some feedback on what I believe you are wanting. I want to make sure I heard you right! After all, therapy is a relationship. You should feel that your therapist is the best fit for your needs.
If you decide we are a match, I will get you scheduled for your next session!
We will return to the front office to pay. I will give you my card so that you can easily reach me.
You'll go home, grab a bite to eat, and take a deep breath. You did it!!
I see first sessions as an honor. The fact that you are willing to take a risk, enter a new environment and begin working on improving yourself is incredible to me. As you share your story, my greatest hope is to receive and respect every bit of what has gotten you to this moment.
I imagine we will be a great match. If not, I'll be ready to provide referrals for someone who may be closer aligned with meeting your goals.
The first session is a test of best fit. Our therapeutic relationship may end there, or it may be the beginning of an ongoing partnership! Give me a call or send me an email, and I will get you scheduled within the next two weeks.