Your psychologist will ask you about the difficulties that have brought you into therapy and what you would like help with. Your psychologist will seek to understand what’s going on for you at the moment and what factors may be contributing to how you feel. By the end of your first appointment, your psychologist will work with you to develop a flexible plan for future sessions aligned with your goals and needs.
Talking about your past.
Your psychologist may also ask about the past because past life events can influence our current experiences. Your psychologist understands that talking about the past can be a difficult experience. You are able to set the pace for discussions about the past based on how comfortable you feel.
What does therapy look like?
Therapy involves working as a team with your psychologist to make changes. It is a space for discussing and working through problems; receiving emotional support and guidance, for learning about psychological difficulties and how to make changes. Therapy also requires consistent regular appointments in order for it to be effective.
Therapy looks different depending on the goals for therapy. It is important that the psychologist adapts treatment approaches to your needs and preferences. Some common features of psychological intervention include:
- Learning ways to manage difficult emotions;
- Examining and modifying unhelpful beliefs about the self and the world;
- Making changes to things that we do that might be having an impact on how we feel;
- Testing out fears by seeing if what we assume will happen happens; and
- Examining and modifying unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving that have been with us for a long time.
Find the right person for you.
Psychologists have different styles of working and treatment approaches. We also have different personalities! It’s important that you find a psychologist that you feel comfortable with and who you can connect with. Your first appointment is a good opportunity for getting a feel for whether this is the right person for you.