Your First Therapy Session

By | October 22, 2009

therapy-help-counselor-st-george-sunriseIt has been my experience that new clients are often unsure what to expect in the first counseling session. At times, they feel doubt about what to say or do. There can be nervousness and anxiety about opening up to someone you’re meeting for the first time, especially when you find that you are sharing difficulties you may not have discussed with anyone else.The first session is an opportunity for both the therapist and the client to get a sense of each other and whether they can work well together.

Therapeutic Fit
Research indicates that the therapeutic fit between client and therapist is a crucial element to the change process. As the client, you will want to see how comfortable you feel in the presence of the therapist you are working with. You are not expected to trust the therapist completely from the beginning, but you should be able to have a sense of him or her as someone you could trust over time. The counselor tries to get an overall sense of the new client in the first session – what difficulties they’re dealing with currently, what has occurred in their past, how they view themselves, and perhaps some background about their childhood and subsequent relationships. The first session is often an assessment on many levels. The therapist assesses what your needs are and then gleans a sense of your therapeutic needs and how the therapist can help guide and support you in session.

What To Ask The Counselor
It’s also ok to ask questions of the therapist. What is their background and training? What is their style of working? What types of clients do they work with? These types of questions will give you a better sense of the therapist’s perspective and experience. It is imperative that you have a sense that the therapist understands and can work with you to help you make the changes you want in your life. It can be a relief to rid yourself of the things you’ve been bearing on your own. Again, some trepidation or angst prior to your first session is normal. Don’t let the anxiety about meeting with a therapist keep you from the peace you are seeking.

Copyright: No part of this article in section or full may be reproduced without permission from the author Justin Stum, MS LMFT. The one and only exception is for educational purposes and only if the contact information below for the author is fully cited here in article.Justin Stum, MS LMFT, 640 E. 700 S. Suite 103, St. George Utah 84770 435-574-9193,

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