What happens in my first therapy session?

Tuesday 7th May 2024 | Therapy

When you first start therapy, you can often feel anxious, overwhelmed, and nervous and it’s normal to feel this way especially as you might not know what to expect. We know that sometimes when we feel this way we might become tearful, and this can be because we know we are about to manage something difficult, or we’re relieved to have begun our therapy journey.

Whatever you feel when you first start therapy sessions you are in safe hands. All our therapists are specially trained and accredited with the British Association of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists (BABCP) and they are there to guide you through your first session and beyond! Our therapists will do everything they can to put you at ease and make you feel safe.


What happens in your first therapy session?

Your therapist will welcome you to your session, will take some details from you (address, date of birth and GP surgery) and will tell you a little bit about themselves and the therapy they offer. Your therapist will explain what will happen in the session and the importance of getting to know you and understanding the difficulties that have brought you to therapy.

We know that often people may want to prepare for therapy and here are some helpful questions to consider ahead of your first session:

  • Think about what has brought you to therapy
  • Do you have any specific worries or concerns that you would like help with?
  • What are your goals for therapy?

Everyone comes to therapy for something different and you don’t need to have all answers beforehand. Some people come to therapy because they would like to feel better within themselves, explore any unhelpful cycles they might be in, move towards acceptance or to work on something specific to them.


The therapy journey takes time

Everyone’s therapy journey can look different and when you first begin you might feel tearful or that everything feels a bit messy and that’s okay! Your therapist will be used to unpicking and making sense of things. The first session is for you and your therapist to get to know each other and begin to develop a shared understanding of what has brought you to therapy and develop your therapy journey to feeling better.

It can take time to build a trusting relationship with your therapist and remember that the first session is as much about you assessing the therapist as it is about the therapist assessing you. You might not immediately click with your therapist and it can be very common to feel this way, especially if seeking therapy is outside your comfort zone but it’s important to give therapy time.