I see many clients in my practice that have never been to therapy before, and fear the experience and are uncertain about what to expect. Many clients question the process, and are anxious to understand how I can help, how long will it take to feel relief, and if the process will be ongoing or time limited.

I find myself wondering how to help my clients understand the therapeutic process and limit their anxiety about coming in, especially if anxiety is the reason they are seeking help! I have come up with a list of general expectations for the beginning of the therapy journey in hopes of helping anyone new to counseling feel more comfortable before their first session.

  1. The initial visit is my time to get to know you and your concerns. The first counseling session might look different from the rest. Why? Because I am learning about you, your history and background, your family, your relationships, your work, and why you are coming in. I always ask my clients what they are expecting to gain from counseling, and what goals they might have.
  2. Ongoing visits are for your benefit, so we will work together to help you get the most out of them. As we dive deeper into your concerns, I will provide you with feedback, recommendations, and strategies to help you work through whatever you need to address. I will have an open dialogue with you about how you can continue to work towards your goals and help you feel confident in your progress.
  3. The hour is yours. Many of my clients are uncertain about what they can bring up, how much to share, and what to focus on. My answer is always that the time is yours, and you can bring up and address anything that you are thinking about, and we will work from there. If you are stuck, I will help, and I will guide you so you can determine what will help you reach your goals.
  4. There is no one size fits all approach. I tailor all of my recommendations to you specifically, and your progress might take more or less time than the next person. We will discuss the frequency of your visits when we meet, and I will help you figure out what would feel best for you. You might feel relief after sharing your story during the initial visit, but it may take longer to notice and feel real and sustainable growth. Everyone is different, but know that I am here to guide you on your journey.

Many people have fears about trying therapy, so know that you are not alone. If you have additional questions about what you can expect during your first visit with me, please feel free to reach out to me at 312-729-5089 for a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about my therapeutic techniques and how I can help you live your best life.