Welcome once again to Tuesday Therapy Notes, the weekly series that examines types of therapy and common issues associated with therapy. And today, I want to talk about how I feel as I get ready for my first appointment with a new therapist. And yes, I know that I talked a little over a month ago about preparing for your first visit. Today’s post is more about being mindful about the feelings you have heading into the first session, whether this is your first first appointment or whether you’ve done it a few times before.
I am a little nervous about the new therapist. Some of that is a touch of social anxiety, having to talk to someone new. Most of it is about whether their style and their approach to therapy will work with me. After all, it is a lot of time and money to invest if you and your therapist don’t jive.
I mean really, when you think about it a first therapy appointment is kind of like getting ready for a blind date, except worse because hopefully there is a give and take on any given blind date, whereas with therapy the focus will always be on you. You will be talking about all the deepest struggles you have with someone who is a complete stranger.
So feeling nervous is common. You may even want to put up your defenses and not let the therapist in. This is normal too. It is important to remember though that you are in control. Forcing yourself to talk about things you aren’t ready to discuss could be traumatizing for you, and no therapist should push if you aren’t ready.
For me, I counter the nervousness by trying to focus on the positive and the hope that comes out of this interaction. Hopefully, this is a new step towards my recovery. Even if I don’t click with this therapist, it is important to remember it will still be helpful, because in your recovery sometimes learning what doesn’t work is almost as helpful as learning what does work.
At least those are my thoughts. If any of you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings about starting work with a new therapist, feel free to share in the comment section below. And as always, thanks for reading.