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What happens in the first therapy session?

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

If you've never been in counselling or therapy before, you may wonder what happens in the first session.

I see this is a chance for us to start to get to know each other, for me to hear what's bringing you to therapy at this time, and for you to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have.

I might also ask you about your childhood and other important times in your life, and consider whether there are themes from your past that relate to your situation today.

The first session is also a place to cover practical issues. Beforehand, I'll email you a one-page contract and a form asking for basic information, as well as my privacy policy. I'll also send you information about using Zoom and/or Covid-19 measures in the therapy rooms.

I'll also ask you about your support mechanisms - who you talk to or what you do when life is hard, and how you take care of yourself. This is because therapy can bring up difficult feelings, and it's good for us to consider together how you can find support outside as well as inside the therapy room.

I'll be especially interested in your safety, particularly whether you're at immediate harm from yourself or another person. If you're in a crisis situation, therapy is unlikely to be the right option for you right now, but we can explore where else you can get the support you need.

Towards the end of the first session, we will map out a plan for the initial stages of our work together and will agree a timeframe for reviewing this, possibly 6 sessions.

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