Seeing a therapist can seem like a daunting task. Talking about yourself to a stranger can lead a person to avoid therapy even though they may need it. As a result, it is important to be compatible with the therapist. Therapists are aware of the necessity for compatibility and the goal of the first session is to build a therapeutic relationship, without which success is not likely. If, after the first session, the client does not feel any connection with the therapist, it is reasonable for the client to seek another therapist. Therapists understand that the ability to connect with the therapist is the premise of any positive and successful therapy and our feelings don’t get hurt if there is no connection. The goal of the therapist is to help the client be a better self.
The first session with a therapist is usually a time when the therapist asks for personal history; Information such as place of birth and other places the client has lived throughout the lifetime. Family information such as parents, siblings and extended family members will be included. Family relationships often influence life choices. Careers, jobs, school and training are points of reference in the history. The history can include work parents accomplished outside or inside the home. Additionally, the client will be asked to identify any distressing and/or disturbing experiences. Any experiences are relevant – it does not matter the extent. It could be teasing/bullying to abandonment issues to abuse.
The client’s current situation is equally important. In addition to current jobs, career and or school, the client’s social life is important. Usually, the client’s hobbies and interests are discussed. The therapist will also ask what brought the client to therapy at this time.
Often the above information is assigned to the client as a timeline. This makes it easier for the therapist to understand the client’s life history and experiences. It is worth noting first sessions are not always the same with all therapists. A therapist might see something in the pre-session paperwork that is interesting and address it first.
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