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September 3, 2021
What To Expect When Coming To Your First Therapy Session

Megan Rafuse

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Starting Therapy Can Seem Daunting

The decision to begin therapy is often a difficult decision and the task of finding a therapist can be overwhelming and confusing. With so many theoretical approaches to counselling and many different therapists practicing in your community, it is essential to find someone that you feel comfortable talking to and working with. Your therapist will encourage you to ask questions during your initial consultation so that they can gain a feel for whether  theoretical orientation and communication style works for them.

During our initial consultation, your therapist will ask you to talk about yourself and what issues have driven you to seek therapy. Your therapist may also ask you a little bit about your current situation, prior experience, with counselling and what you hope to achieve from our therapy sessions. This initial conversation will also provide you with the opportunity to ask your therapist any questions you may have about the therapy process.

Counselling and Psychotherapy

You and your therapist can also discuss how professional therapy can help to:

  • Provide you with a new perspective into your thoughts, feelings and actions
  • Improve your self-worth, confidence and self-esteem
  • Teach you effective coping strategies and new ways of thinking
  • Speed up your healing
  • Assist you in identifying your strengths, values and beliefs
  • Improve your relationships with others
  • Practice new skills and strategies for dealing with life challenges
  • Regain a sense of hope and direction
  • Create change and construct possibilities

Your therapist will be interactive, warm, and considerate of your beliefs and values. In our practice, your therapist will use their extensive clinical knowledge and training in cognitive behavioural therapy to assist you in working through your life challenges. We work from a collaborative framework, and believe that you are the expert in your life, and will strive to understand your experience from your perspective. We work to empower you to achieve your goals and are committed to teaching you new skills and strategies that are proven to help you cope more effectively with life’s challenges. We help our clients to recognize their strengths, values and potential and assist them in developing a new perspective on their current situation. While we are the experts in helping you to navigate change, you are the expert in your life; therefore, we encourage clients to steer the course of their therapy.

Many clients tell us that prior to their first therapy session, they were unsure of what to expect from therapy and were concerned about opening up to someone new about their problems. It is very normal to feel nervous or hesitant about meeting with a therapist for the first time. For some people, being aware of what they can expect during the first therapy session helps to alleviate some of these negative feelings.

During our initial session, we will:

  • Discuss your current situation and challenges
  • Explore what changes you would like to accomplish and your expectations of how we can work together to achieve these changes
  • Establish what needs to take place in order for these changes to occur and collaboratively develop customized treatment goals
  • Examine the most effective ways for you to achieve your treatment goals and work together to practice the proven strategies and skills that will help you to see change and accomplish your goals

Whether you are seeking long-term therapy or a single session consultation about a life situation, we welcome you to contact us at with any questions you may have. The skills and strategies that you will learn during our sessions together can help you handle stress better, improve your self-esteem, be less fearful and develop more meaningful relationships. These strategies will continue to help you cope with life’s challenges even long after you begin to feel better. We’re here for you.

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