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How to Prep for Your First Therapy Session

Update Date: Jan 04, 2020 09:59 AM EST

Whether you're in college, already out in the working world, or a stay-at-home mom or dad, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.

Sometimes taking care of your mental health means going into therapy. No matter what your reasons are for starting therapy, it's something you shouldn't put off, if you think you need it. It can, however, be a little overwhelming. If you're wondering how to prep for your first therapy session, read on below for a few tips to help you.

Write Down Your Questions


You probably have many therapy questions you would like to have answered. The best way to remember them once you're in your session is to write them down beforehand. You can even ask your therapist if you can schedule a phone call before your first session so you can get your questions answered that way. That first phone call can also help put you at ease before your actual session as well.

Think About What You Want to get out of Therapy


One of the first things you want to do is figure out what you want to get out of your sessions. People go into therapy for many different reasons; you need to figure out what your reasons are. Do you need help with a specific stressful situation? Has something happened in your life that you're having problems coping with? Figuring out what you want from your sessions can go a long way towards helping you succeed in dealing with the issues that brought you here, to begin with.

Have anything Your Therapist Might Need in Hand


For most people, making that first therapy appointment is really hard and that's okay. This also means that you need to have everything taken care of and anything your therapist might need from you in hand for that first appointment. Make sure that you've taken care of insurance, payments, know the types of medications you're currently taking, and anything else that might put a halt to your first appointment. You've taken the first step and made the appointment, now be prepared so you can keep it. Get everything you need together and have it in hand when you walk through the door of your therapist's office.

Go to Your Appointment Ready to be Honest and Open


You made this appointment in order to get help for your issues. If you expect your therapy to work, you need to go into your appointment ready to be open and honest about your problems and how you feel as well. While it might be scary to break down that wall, it's important for you to resolve your issues and become whole once again. Make notes of the way you're feeling, keep a diary, etc., and when you go into that first appointment, be willing to lay everything out there on the table and get the help you need.

Clear Your Schedule Ahead of Your First Session


The last thing you want or need when you're going into your first therapy session is to be worried about what you have going on afterward. Shut off your phone and tell anyone who might want to contact you that you'll be unavailable for a while. It's also important not to schedule anything after your appointment, as you might need to decompress and take it easy for a bit.

Give yourself plenty of time to find your new therapist's office, also. You don't want to be stressed about being late once you finally get there.

These are just a few tips to help you prepare for your first therapist visit. You've taken the first step, now the follow-through should be easier. 

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