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What To Expect From Your First Therapy Session


By Kellie Ramdeen

Going to therapy is an exciting new beginning, but it can also bring up some feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, or even fear. Maybe you’ve never been to therapy before, or maybe you’re starting with a new therapist. You might need support as you navigate life’s obstacles, or perhaps you want to do some self-exploration. This blog will answer some questions that might be coming up for you as you begin this process, and hopefully ease some of the nervousness you might be experiencing. But first—congratulations on taking this first step! We at According to Sykes are here to support you throughout this journey.

Before Your First Session…

Your therapist will probably send you some intake forms to complete before your first session. These forms will ask for some basic information and include a questionnaire about what brought you to therapy. Feel free to be detailed with your responses or keep them brief-- these forms will give your therapist some insight into your needs and goals before you begin meeting.

What Can I Expect From My First Session?

Different therapists tend to use different approaches, but most first sessions will involve your therapist getting to know you, your needs, and some of your goals. It’s understandable to be nervous before starting something new-- feel free to name whatever feelings are coming up for you. Your therapist will likely ask questions to learn more about you and your experiences. You can also ask your therapist questions or voice any concerns you might have.

Some people who are new to therapy worry that they won’t have anything to say because they’re not used to sharing certain things with other people. Whether you’re talkative or quiet, that’s totally okay-- therapy should be a judgment-free space where you can be your authentic self. Therapists are also trained to maintain confidentiality, which means that we are obligated to protect our clients’ privacy and will only break that confidentiality with your written consent or under extreme circumstances. We want to protect your privacy and honor your trust.

What Is The Therapy Process Like?

You might have some questions about the actual therapy process, such as, how many sessions will this take? When will I feel better? What can I expect from my therapist? These are all valid questions, and the answers tend to vary. The number of sessions will depend on your therapist’s style or approach, along with your unique needs and aspirations. “Feeling better” is so personal and can take time. You might start to feel better as you begin to open up and feel supported, or you might find yourself processing some thoughts and feelings that you had previously kept hidden or buried. The therapists at According to Sykes believe in a liberation-based approach that is both collaborative and empowering. This means that we want your input--we want to create a space that uplifts your voice and helps you grow in self-confidence, understanding, and love.

No matter what approach your therapist takes, the therapist-client relationship is key. Trust, comfort, and empathy are crucial elements, but they can also take time to develop. If, after some time, you and your therapist don’t click, that’s okay. Don’t give up! Your therapist can refer you to some other options. You deserve to feel heard, seen, and supported by your therapist.

So, What Do I (The Client) Need To Do?

Aside from completing intake forms, you don’t necessarily have to do anything to prepare for your first therapy session (unless, of course, you want to). The most important thing you can bring with you is an openness to the process. Talking about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences might feel strange or scary at first. It might take some time to feel comfortable opening up to your therapist. That is completely normal and only speaks to your bravery in taking this step. We at According to Sykes applaud your courage and hope to uplift you throughout your therapeutic journey.



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