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  • Writer's pictureMalin Rignéus

What happens in the introductory therapy session?

Updated: May 2

Many people find attending their first therapy session nerve wrecking. That’s completely normal and understandable as you’re confiding in a stranger. Through this blog I aim to remove some of the fears or concerns you might have about the initial therapy consultation through explaining what normally unfolds in this meeting. I’ll also provide some pointers on how you can prepare yourself.

a tray with tea, honey and a turquoise cup in a therapy room
Having a cuppa/coffee in a therapy setting is definitely ok

Format of session

The initial meeting will be formatted slightly different than the rest of our sessions together. I’ll briefly inform you about the way I work, any limits to confidentiality and questions about the current issues you’re currently going through. I’ll also inquiry about your past, so I can get to know you better and have a more complete picture of you.

Counselling will always be carried out in partnership with you. I’ll ask you about your current expectations of therapy and what ideally, you’d like to get out of our work together. We will also touch on how we could structure working towards your objectives together over time.

If you’re seeing me for an online session, please make sure you’re basing yourself in a confidential setting, e.g., in a private room or area where no one can listen in to our conversation. Avoid walking outside or speaking in an office at work with thin walls/glass doors (even if you are using headphones).

Allow yourself to have enough time, so you’re not rushing to the meeting. Make sure your computer or devise has enough charge available. Prior to dialling in, please test that the sound and camera on your computer are working. Remember to turn off and remove any other distractions such as phones so we can be truly present in the meeting.

Face to face session, make sure you allow enough time to travel to the meeting room on time. There will be water available on site and access to a bathroom. You’re welcome to bring your own drink if you prefer. Make yourself comfortable in the waiting area and I’ll greet you as close to the booked appointment time as possible.

The administration that happens in the introductory therapy meeting

I’ll need to receive some basic information from you before we can begin our work together. If you haven’t already filled out the introductory information sent to you prior to your appointment, please do so while waiting. A signed informed consent form, personal information form and a quick intake survey.

The survey is administered for me to receive some baseline information that we can work with. We can pinpoint if there seem to be more anxiety or depression present or if there are any other pressing concerns that I need to be aware of. I’ll take some notes throughout the session all data will be kept as secure as possible.

Payment will be carried out either through an emailed invoice via Stripe (for the online sessions) or through an emailed invoice. You can pay via a bank transfer after the session. Scheduling in the next couple of sessions will be discussed to ensure you have access to regular care to reach your personal therapy objectives. You can reschedule appointments up to 24 hours before the meeting without incurring any fees, unless it's a public holiday or Sunday the day prior (this information be stated clearly in your informed consent form).

I hope this information removes some of the reservations you might have about seeking therapy so you know what normally happens when attending your first session. If you’ve got any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Take care and look forward to seeing you soon.

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