Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by It’s Complicated
Beginning therapy is a courageous and important step toward improving your mental health and well-being. Here are some things to consider as you start your therapy journey.
Before starting therapy, it is often a good idea to identify your goals and think about what you hope to achieve and get out of the therapeutic process. This can help you focus on what you want to work on and communicate your expectations to your therapist. Are you looking to improve your relationships, manage anxiety or depression, or work through a specific issue or trauma? Having clear goals can help you and your therapist stay focused on what you want to accomplish.
Finding the right therapist is arguably one of the most important parts of the process. Ultimately, you need to find someone you feel safe and comfortable with. Your search for this individual can involve researching therapists who specialize in the issues you are dealing with and scheduling an initial consultation to see if you feel comfortable with them. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to try a few different therapists before finding the right one for you.
During your first session, your therapist will likely ask you some general questions about your background, including information about your family, education, work, and medical history. It’s important to remember that your therapist is there to help you, and everything you share during your session is confidential. They are not there to judge you or your experiences. These individuals are trained to provide you with the support and guidance you need to address your mental health concerns.
You and your therapist will discuss the reasons why you are seeking therapy, you can share what you hope to achieve and any current symptoms or issues you may be presently dealing with. It’s important to be honest and open with your therapist, even if it feels uncomfortable or vulnerable. The more information you provide, the better equipped your therapist will be to help you.
Keep in mind the therapeutic approach your therapist uses and whether it aligns with your preferences and needs. For example, some therapists may use a more structured, solution-focused approach, while others may use a more exploratory, insight-oriented approach. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more prepared and comfortable during your sessions.
Finally, remember that therapy is a process, and it may take some time to see progress or feel the full benefits. Be patient with yourself, and trust the process. With time and consistent effort, therapy can be an incredibly powerful tool for personal growth and emotional healing. Therapy is a journey, and progress takes time. Commit to the process.
It’s absolutely normal to feel nervous or uncertain about beginning therapy, but know that taking this step can be a powerful tool in improving your mental health, well-being, and life.