Your first session
Every therapist has their own way of beginning therapy. I may start by talking about what will happen in your therapy or I may begin straightaway by asking you what is troubling you. Either way is fine, but there are a few things your first session must cover:
As your therapist I will spend a few minutes introducing myself. If you’re not sure whether to call me by my first name or to be more formal, just do what you feel most comfortable with. If you feel im being too informal in the way I address you, you should say so.
I may start by taking a history of the troubles you are experiencing. I might ask you to complete some forms, or go through information I have received about you, such as a letter from your GP. I may just ask you to ‘tell your story’. Whatever format the assessment takes, you should feel you have the opportunity to tell me about the issues that are troubling you.
I will agree the terms, or contract with you, on how I will provide my services.
I will discuss with you the number and frequency of sessions you will have and how any fees will be paid. I will also explain what happens if you miss a session or are away on holiday.
Confidentiality and note taking
I will explain how I will protect your confidentiality and privacy. I will also tell you of any situations when I may be required to disclose information about you. I will usually take notes in the sessions in some way for my own professional use. I will tell you how I will do this.
During the first session, or at any time during your therapy, you can ask me anything you want to know about my qualifications and experience. You can also ask me about your therapy and question anything you don't understand. I will encourage you to do this.
Your relationship with me is very important. To get the best out of the process it’s important that you have confidence in me. Trust your instinct and if you’re unsure about anything then please feel free to talk to me about this.