Walking into a therapist’s office or speaking to a mental health professional on the phone for the first time isn’t always easy.
It can make you feel vulnerable, strange, and awkward. You might still be battling with yourself internally about whether or not you really “need” therapy — You’ve been “fine” all these years, so why do you need to go talk to someone now?
All of these thoughts and feelings are valid.
It’s uncomfortable to admit that the challenges you’re facing, whether real and immediate or long-standing and creeping, might require expert advice.
We believe in the healing power of behavioral health therapy, and we know it can be scary before your first session.
So, we wanted to share a bit more about what you can expect during your first StarMed Behavioral Health session to help you feel more comfortable and informed.
Your first therapy session
The initial visit is a period for you and your behavioral health provider to get to know each other and get an idea of how to proceed.
Your provider will guide you through an initial assessment to understand your current challenges, your history, and where there might be trauma in your life. This assessment will lay the foundation for your treatment plan and all future sessions.
Plan to answer questions like…
- What are your symptoms?
- How long have you been struggling?
- What brought you to therapy?
- What do you feel is wrong in your life?
- Some questions about your history, including your childhood, education, relationships (family, romantic, friends), current living situation, and career
Part of your initial session will also likely include you and your provider setting some ground rules about how to contact each other, how the sessions will go, and what you hope to achieve by going to therapy.
You can ask your provider questions, too
It’s important that you feel safe with your behavioral health provider. One of the best ways you can feel more comfortable is by asking questions. Here are a few ideas:
- How long have you been working in this field?
- Do you have experience or issues dealing with (religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, etc.)
- Do you also see a therapist?
- How can I tell if the treatment is working?
- What does a typical session look like?
- Do you provide a recap at the end of every session?
- What type of goals would you recommend, based on my issues?
There are many different strategies and tools
Our behavioral health providers are trained in a lot of different techniques and approaches to healing trauma and creating positive change. Everyone responds differently, and part of your provider’s role will be helping you find the strategies and tools that work best for you.
This is a process
One of the biggest things we want to stress is: Try not to expect any instant solutions to your problems on the first day. Therapy is about equipping you with life-long solutions and not a quick fix.
Many who start behavioral health work feel that they don’t see their progress fast enough. This work takes time. Be willing to start small, accept that there will be faltering along the way, and recognize that the journey is just as important as the end goal.
You should feel safe
Above all else, you should feel safe during your sessions. We’ll do everything we can to make sure you feel comfortable, seen, heard, and respected. This is a safe space you can come to without judgment.
StarMed behavioral health is here for you
If you regularly struggle with anxiety or depression, we can help.
With regular counseling sessions, our professional, licensed behavioral health providers are here to help you cope with trauma, manage anxiety and depression, and help you establish internal healing so that you can live the life you’ve always wanted to.
Stay up-to-date on behavioral health at starmed.care.