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What to Expect During Your First Therapy Appointment

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What to Expect During Your First Therapy Appointment

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Written by 
Nicole Laoutaris
Last updated: 
October 25, 2023
Professionally Verified by 

Once you’ve decided to meet with a therapist for your first session, you might be wondering what it’ll be like. Many people start therapy because something feels off, but they can’t put their finger on it; some have a clearer picture of what they want to work on. Often, your needs progress and change throughout your work with a therapist. 

Here are a few tips if you do want to prepare ahead of time: 

  • Your therapy wish list. Think of a few things that are top of mind that you want to tackle with your therapist. Keep it simple and easy. This will help guide their questions and approach.
  • Medical history: Depending on the type of therapist, you may need to be prepared to tell them your medical history and current medications. If you’ve been referred by your doctor, you may talk about relevant medical symptoms during this first appointment.
  • Personal history: Many therapists will walk through your life history. It helps give them a full picture of your current situation. You can tell them if you’re not comfortable talking about any part of your life.
  • Typical questions to expect: What brought you to therapy? What do you hope to get out of this work? How are you feeling physically? Has anything changed recently?

Most sessions are 50 minutes in length. Your therapist will keep an eye on the time and close down the session when you’ve reached the end. You may be asked if you want to book your next appointment, but you should never feel pressured to do so

About the author
Nicole Laoutaris

Nicole Laoutaris is a freelance writer and adult learning professional based in the Greater Toronto Area. She specializes in educational content for brands and companies in industries such as mental health, pet health, lifestyle and wellness, cannabis, and personal finance. Nicole holds a double undergraduate degree in Communications and Film studies from Wilfrid Laurier University, and post-graduate certificate in Corporate Communications from Seneca College. She currently lives in Hamilton Ontario with her spouse and her cat.

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