Therapy is a big step, as reaching out for help can be both difficult and daunting. Once someone decides to attend therapy, they often come with a number of expectations as well. Getting a more accurate understanding of what to expect can help with any anxiety about coming in to your first appointment and can help to create a more positive experience.
- You have to tell the therapist everything. There is a lot of ground to cover in therapy, and people often feel overwhelmed at the thought of meeting a stranger and having to immediately share all of their difficulties. However, you have a lot of time to tell your psychologist “everything”. You don’t have to prepare for the first session or feel like you have to say anything, really. Your therapist will tell you how the sessions will run, what to expect, and discuss with you what your journey will look like. Knowing your presenting concern is a start, and that’s all you need to tell the therapist. “I’m having issues at work.” Or “My relationship is strained.” That is enough to get your therapist started on the right journey for you.
- The psychologist has a magic wand. You probably aren’t expecting a magic wand per se; however, people will often say, “How will you fix me?” or “How many sessions will this take?”. To be honest, the psychologist can’t “fix” you and they won’t know how many sessions you will need. If you’re invested in understanding yourself and the ways you wish to change, this will take some time to uncover. There isn’t a magic wand and there isn’t a quick fix. Solutions and support can and will be provided, but you also need to put in the work. We help to guide you on this journey.
- You’ll feel better right away. Your first session is all about getting to know each other – the therapist gets to know you and you get to know the therapist. It is unlikely that you will walk out of your first session with enlightenment. You may be provided with some tangible homework or coping skills, but only the tip of the iceberg will be showing. You may feel disappointment after the first session. We recommend you agree to yourself to stick it out for 10 sessions. Go on this journey with your therapist, see what it looks like and commit to yourself that you’ll keep an open mind. You will be surprised with the outcome.
At VCPS, we have a dedicated intake team to answer any questions you have about therapy. You can chat with our team in real-time online or give them a call on (03) 9419 7172. We would love to help you with your journey into therapy.
Books we recommend:
- A User’s Guide to Therapy: What to Expect and How You Can Benefit by Tamara L. Kaiser
- Feeling Better: A Kid’s Book About Therapy by Rachel Rashkin
- Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel
View the related Inside VCPS podcast here:
Episode 2 - Meet Emma O'Connell