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7 Things to Know about Therapy.

It can be nerve racking going to see a therapist for the first time and not knowing what to expect. Here are 7 things to know.

1. Whats the goal?

A good therapist will work with you to develop a goal together.

2. What if i have a lot of issues to discuss? Where do i start?

The aim of a therapist is be to be supportive and to break down issues and problems into smaller and more manageable parts. A therapist can help you sort out all of the difficulties you may be struggling with. Then you can choose which problems are more persistent and most important for you to address, and set a goal to work on that issue.

3. What does the first session entail?

The first session can seem rather daunting, however it is usually used as time to build rapport, information gathering and get to know each other. The therapist may ask you questions about yourself and to find out what what you need support with. Rapport building does not happen over night and sometimes it may take more than the initial session. If you feel like you need more time to warm up to your therapist, the therapist may focus on spending more sessions aimed at making you feel safe and comfortable.

4. Do i have to prepare a list of topics?

Nope, not at all. Therapists specialise in helping individuals explore what is on their mind together.

If you have a difficult time expressing what is going on for you, the therapist will be able to assist you in identifying the issue you want to solve the most.

In saying all this, if you work better with a list. A therapist will also be able to help create a plan to work out what is most important on your list to get started with.

5. Is everything confidential?

In general, everything that is shared between yourself and the therapist is kept confidential. There are instances where breaches of confidentiality must occur and these will be clearly expressed to make sure you understand before therapy commences.

There are some situations when the therapist can not keep things confidential. For example:

- If you are at risk of causing bodily harm to yourself or others.

- If there therapist suspects any child abuse or neglect.

- If you have been abused by a health professional.

Your therapist will express this with you first and go over the details.

6. Will i be in therapy forever?

The short answer is no. Therapists are there to be by your side on your journey and to help you gain insight. In this journey you will be in the drivers seat in which hopefully you will be able to make meaning of your experiences, and develop helpful coping skills along the way.

The ultimate goal is for you to be able to develop a toolkit of skills learned in therapy that you can utilise on your own. In a sense, we teach you to develop your own inner therapist.

7. What if i don't like my therapist?

In terms of starting with a new therapist, If you find that after the first session or first few sessions you just are not gelling with your therapist. This is ok. You have no obligation to stay with that therapist. It is unrealistic to think that therapists can work with every individual and vice versa. Just be open and honest.

In fact, most individuals can go through phases of liking and disliking their therapists throughout the long term, this can depend on the stage of the therapeutic process and is normal. However, if you feel you are not getting any benefit from your therapist, it may be time for a change.

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