What to Expect in Your First Therapy Session

Updated: Nov 20

Table of contents:

● Your First Therapy Session

● What Actually Happens in a Therapy Session?

● Choosing the Right Therapist

● Conclusion

Your First Therapy Session

You have booked your first ever therapy session and not knowing what to expect is sure to make you even more anxious. While you might have heard some people say “that’s all?”, after their first session, there is a certain set of people who would not have expected questions related to their past. To not make your first therapy session seem like a surprise test, it’s best to know what exactly happens in therapy in order to know what to expect and what not.

What Actually Happens in a Therapy Session?

Therapy is not a one person’s job. It takes two to help the client live a healthy and more fulfilling life. One that brings them closer to their personal or professional goals with the help of a series of therapy sessions. You can seek psychotherapy at any given point in your life for one or multiple reasons. Be it therapy for anxiety, therapy for depression, therapy for anger management or relationship issues, the process of helping you heal remains more or less the same. One common factor of all therapy sessions is that the method or approach adopted by your therapist is scientific, research-based and follows recent updated information in the field of psychology counselling.

● Imagine meeting a new person for the very first time. Which conversation would you choose to break the ice? Name, family, occupation, health, etc. are usually the conversation starters of any conversation - and so it is with a therapist too! Your first or first few therapy sessions are mainly going to focus on you sharing your details with your psychologist. These usually include your interests, hobbies, family history, past relationships, health history, present lifestyle or daily routine, etc. This gives your therapist an outline of who you are as a person.

● The next step would be interacting with your therapist in a conversation related to the above mentioned things. As you begin talk therapy, both the client and the therapist start looking at things from a fresh and different perspective. To have an effective and judgement free conversation with your psychologist, they will make sure that you feel comfortable enough to share your experiences without any hesitation. This might take some time, but you’ll get there!

● Once the relationship of trust has been established, it would be required for you to share your purpose of taking the help of therapy. Why you need therapy, what goals you would like to achieve with the help of therapy sessions and what limitations or issues you would want to address with your therapist - all of this should be stated clearly to your therapist. Based on the details you share, your therapist would chalk out a plan that would best suit your needs and goals. They may engage you in some therapy exercises to help you gain a deeper insight into what to expect in the upcoming therapy sessions and understand the therapist’s approach towards helping you solve your issues.

● While the therapist is going to ask questions to you in order to provide you with the best possible therapy experience, you can also clear all your doubts with your therapist. It can be a simple yet important question as “is our conversation going to remain confidential?” or something related to the approach or method incorporated in the therapy session. It is vital that you know and understand the entire process of therapy as you progress to maintain a transparent relationship with your therapist.

● One of the main goals of seeking therapy is to help you gain relief from your suppressed emotions or stress. And to help you do that, your therapist may involve art works or some kind of play or game as a part of your therapy session. Art is known as one of the effective ways to relieve stress. This may help you clear your mind and therefore come up with a fresh lens towards the issues you are trying to address with your psychotherapist.

● To help you stay focused towards your goal, your therapist may also give you some homework! Yes. Just like in school you need to keep practicing your lessons at home to get maximum results, in therapy too, you need to practice some of the therapeutic tasks that your therapist might prescribe you to do in order to help you gain new skills or polish the existing ones. You can then talk about your experience and how well it worked or didn’t work for you in the next therapy session.

Choosing the Right Therapist

Not all therapists would be a right fit for the kind of healing you are looking for. So, it is important that you know that your therapist is legit and qualified to help you. Choosing the right therapist might be a daunting task but it is the most important one. Get a clear idea about the qualifications of your prospective therapist, their testimonials, what kind of approach they would like to take, etc. If the therapist has a website, then take a good look at it and try to find client reviews to help you understand your therapist’s background.

In case you are looking for a special kind of therapist such as a couple therapist or career counsellor, then make sure you search for one who is experienced in that particular area of therapy. This will ensure that your goals and issues are kept at top priority to provide you with the best therapy!


When there is a problem, one seeks for the solution. It might not be rectified or corrected in the very first go, but to have a strong will to get it right at the earliest is what keeps us all going. It’s the same with therapy! At Safe Space, your problems or issues are kept at the center of the therapy session and each session focuses on problem solving techniques to help eliminate the problem from its root.

It will not happen overnight. Therapy takes time and the progress is gradual. So, make sure you establish a strong and trustworthy relationship with your therapist and have all your doubts cleared as and when they occur. In fact, you could make your own notes after each therapy session to help you keep a track of your own progress! Hope this article helped you get an insight about what goes around in a therapy session!

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