What to Expect for Your First Therapy Appointment
1. Know that your Anxiety will most likely accompany you to the first session. This happens for everyone! Try to remember, that in this instance, the anxiety is there to help--reminding you to make sure that you're in a safe space. Let me reassure you that you are! *Note: If Anxiety is holding you back from actually going to the first appointment, it's no longer helpful :)
2. The front door will be unlocked. Feel free to enter, no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time, help yourself to a magazine. Practice some deep breathing. Relax!
3. I will come out to greet you. I will call you by your first name, introduce myself, offer my hand for a shake, and ask you to come up to my office.
4. I will ask you how you are, we will exchange some social niceties. We will talk business: We will cover topics like Confidentiality and Fees. You will sign paperwork, indicating you understand topics covered. You have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. Easy, so far right?
5. We will together, develop an understanding of what's bringing you in, the history of the "problem", how the problem(s) have impacted various areas of your life, your strengths as a person, your medical history, your diet and sleep quality--generally getting a sense of who you are, what the problem is, and how I can best support you. I will likely write down some notes during these first sessions, as there is so much information. Everything written is treated with the highest confidentiality!
The initial "intake" may be more difficult for some, but please know that any question that I ask always serves to support the best therapy for you. Also know that you never have to answer any questions that you don't want to! While its helpful for me to get a full picture in the first session, there is always time to learn more as you begin to feel more safe in our space.
6. If you are a caregiver, accompanying a child, I prefer to meet with each of you separately and together. If this is not possible, I can arrange to speak to the family member alone by phone. After meeting in person together, and after the child feels comfortable, I'd like to meet for a few minutes with the child alone. We will likely play a game, and get to know one another better.
7. I will let you know when we're near our time to finish. You will have the opportunity to say anything else you'd like, and then we will schedule another appointment, as you choose.
8. Over the week, you should feel a little lighter, knowing that you have someone on your team, that you have a safe place to leave your heaviest thoughts and feelings and that you've probably just finished the most anxiety-provoking therapy session that you'll ever have! Take a moment to revel in your courage and will to feel better! And I'll look forward to seeing you again, next week.
To schedule your first appointment, call me today! I'm Dayna Sharp, Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Creating Space Counseling and Wellness. 856-281-1664