So you have decided to see a therapist!
What is it if it’s not spooky?
It's all about you!
So, what is the benefit?
Here is my recommendation if you are going to start therapy, mostly for first-timers.
- Take some time to identify why you are feeling like you want to attend therapy. This is both a mental thing (what you think) and an emotional thing (what you feel). It can be as simple as “I feel stuck” or “I want to work on not smoking anymore.”
- Look into the therapists in your geographic area. Look to see who might have a reputation or information that you feel will be helpful to your goal–someone you are comfortable with, as well as someone who seems like they might get you or your struggle.
- Give them a call/text/e mail. This part can be hard, but the professional should be forthcoming and quick to respond to see if your needs match what they provide.
- Schedule a session. Your first session or two might involve the therapist gathering information from you regarding your past, your future goals, and what you are experiencing presently.
- This one I feel is most important: Give the therapist three sessions for you to get a feel for them. Feel free to tell them what you need and how you would like to be treated in session. See how they respond to any fears or hesitations you may have. If you are comfortable, see if you can build off of that. If you are not comfortable and if you feel like you can’t communicate well with them, ask for a referral. A referral is when you ask a professional to give you contact information for another professional that may better suit your needs. I say this to all my clients: If you ask for a referral, you will likely get one of two answers. Either the therapist will gladly help you find someone new or they will try to get you to stay and work with them. If they try to get you to stay, you should walk away. The therapeutic relationship is about you, not them. They have a financial and ethical duty to provide you a referral if you ask for one, especially in the early stages of therapy.