6 Tips for Your First Psychologist Therapy Session
If you’re considering seeing a psychologist for the first time, you might be wondering what to expect. Here are six tips to help you make the most of your first therapy session. Let’s get started!
Don’t be afraid to open up – the therapist is there to help you
It can be an intimidating step to make, but when you open up about your problems to a psychologist in Hamilton, you are taking the first step on a journey of self-discovery. Opening yourself up and being vulnerable can be a daunting task, but it is an important step to take if you wish to start resolving the issues that you have been avoiding. Feel assured that when taking this brave step, the therapist is there to provide a safe environment for you pour out your feelings and worries and offer advice on how to move forward. Remember, don’t be scared of opening up: as they say, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.
Be honest about what’s going on in your life and how you’re feeling
Taking the time to honestly assess our feelings and emotions is a necessity to living a healthy, productive life. We have to be honest and open with ourselves, allowing us the opportunity to express what’s going on in our lives and how that affects us. Whether we are confiding in a close friend or family member or jotting down what we’re feeling in a journal, it’s important for us to take an honest look at our situation and work towards positive solutions. Doing so not only puts us on track for greater fulfillment, but also encourages us to be more authentic with those around us—building trusting relationships and healthier connections.
Talk about your goals for therapy and what you hope to achieve
My goals for therapy are two-fold. Primarily, I am seeking to better understand my own thought patterns and underlying motivations. I want to more fully comprehend the links between my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors and identify which sources play a role in each of them. Secondly, I hope to use this knowledge to develop healthier coping strategies that are aligned with my values and strengths. Ultimately, I strive to become more self-aware and grow in resilience as I confront life’s challenges.
Be prepared to discuss your childhood and family history
Taking a trip down memory lane to my childhood and family history can be an enjoyable experience. With every detail I recall, my stories become more vivid. Growing up, I was very close with my five siblings and we delighted in playing time together in our spacious backyard. I remember countless family gatherings, where each of us would share the most interesting stories while enjoying a masterful feast prepared by my mother. Although we do not live close by anymore, it’s comforting to know that there are mechanisms like Skype which provide the opportunity for us to stay informed and connected with one another from all over the world. Being able to reminisce about happy memories together creates a sense of comfort knowing that our family bond holds strong through immense distance.
Be aware of your body language and tone of voice – they can convey a lot about how you’re really feeling
Our body language and tone of voice often communicates more than our words. If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone is trying to read your thoughts or feelings, be aware that without saying a word, you might already have given away more than you intended. It’s important to be conscious of how we are using our bodies in different situations. Our expressions, posture, and the way we enunciate can all tell people what’s really on our mind. A slight raise of an eyebrow, the way your shoulders drop or tense up, or even an accentuation in your tone when speaking—all these subtle points help shape others’ impressions of us and how we’re really feeling. It pays to be mindful of these body cues because they can easily give away our thoughts before we’ve had a chance to articulate them.
Trust your instincts – if you don’t feel comfortable with the therapist, it’s okay to find someone else
In life, having a dependable guide is essential to success and when it comes to tackling mental health issues, that becomes even more important. We may not always know what the right course of action is, but we should always trust our instincts. If you feel uncomfortable with the therapist you are seeing, you should absolutely feel empowered to find someone else. There is no universal ‘right’ way; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Taking your own mental stability into your own hands and finding someone who truly understands the needs of your mind can be the difference between developing a strong relationship with a therapist that leads to healing – or wasting time on an unfit match. Trust yourself to make the best decision for your future self and don’t settle for any less than what you deserve.
Going to therapy can be a scary experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember that the therapist is there to help you and wants you to succeed. Be honest about your life and how you’re feeling, and come prepared with goals for what you want to achieve in therapy. Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to find a different therapist who might be a better fit for you.