Beginning Therapy: Deciding to Continue (or to Start)
As I had written in a previous post, each therapist has a different policy for consultations, there are those who may offer them and others who do not.
If you have had some kind of first contact with your potential therapist (whether in person or via phone or email), you may have a good sense of whether to continue or not, or perhaps you are unsure and maybe need some time to make a decision.
Taking the step to pursue change takes strength.
Further, having made contact and engaging in a consultation are big steps. Deciding to continue in this process is yet another step. I suggest giving yourself whatever time and to meet with as many therapists as you may need before making your decision.
Once you decide to start the process, it will typically start with discussing the challenges that have brought you to consider therapy. The initial sessions will generally revolve around getting to know you and your history, as well as about the background of your challenges and what you may have previously tried to address your concerns.
Therapy is an interactive and collaborative process based on dialogue and support. The aim is to actively engage you to acknowledge your obstacles, and to work together to understand and navigate through them.
When working with me, I recommend meeting once a week for at least five weekly sessions, to build on the consultation meeting, for you to experience how you will benefit from this process. In my experience and I know others feel similarly, that it can be challenging to describe in words what the benefits are, but after some time, there is a “felt knowledge” of how the work is uniquely valuable.
The last post in the Beginning Therapy series will be Ongoing Work discussing what therapy could be beyond the initial sessions.