What Should I Expect in My First Therapy Session?

2 minutes Written by Mental Health Match & Reviewed by C. Adamo, PhD

The goal of a first therapy session is for you and your therapist to get to know each other. You will likely discuss why you’ve decided to start therapy. Generally, your first therapy session should feel in some ways like the beginning of any meaningful relationship. It’s all about establishing trust.

When you match with a therapist through Mental Health Match, we make the initial relationship easier since your therapist will already know the basics about you and you will already know the basics about your therapist.

Depending on your needs, preferences, or the type of therapy, a first session can vary. But most likely, your therapist will start by asking you some basic questions, such as, “What’s been going on in your life lately?”. Or, “why are you seeking therapy?”

Some therapists hold space for a client to jump right in and talk about what’s most important to them. The therapist joins the conversation only to help guide it and provide reflections on what you’ve shared. It’s okay to find yourself talking the majority of the time, even in your first therapy session. 

Inversely, it’s also very normal not to know what you want to say and to rely on your therapist to help guide the conversation. Other people feel more comfortable asking their therapist a lot of questions and establishing trust in that way. Here are some common and helpful questions to ask a new therapist.

Other therapists take a more structured approach. In your first appointment you might discuss your specific goals, your therapist’s treatment approach, or even the number of sessions you might need or want.

No matter what, a therapy session is your time. You can talk about what’s been going on in your life, you can spend some time asking your therapist questions, or even a little of both.

What’s most important at the end of your session is that you feel like you were heard and not judged, and that you could see yourself beginning to trust your therapist.

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C. Adamo, PhD

Written by Mental Health Match & Reviewed by C. Adamo, PhD

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