Have you often thought about coming to therapy, but then… didn’t? Many things can get in the way of making the call and showing up to that first therapy session.
One of the most common things to get in the way of setting up a therapy session is the fear of the unknown. Often, people aren’t sure what to expect the first time they attend a therapy session, including where to go, what their therapist will be like, and what will happen during the session. This is especially compounded if someone is suffering from anxiety or depression, two symptoms that can make leaving home pretty difficult.
We are here to help clarify what you can expect during your first session with us!
Before the appointment: You are always free to phone or email us to ask us questions before booking any appointment. Once you have decided to book, you may choose to book a free 15-minute consultation call, or to book the one-hour session first. These both can be booked either online, or by phoning or emailing one of us.
Location: Our office is located at 428 Aberdeen Ave. in Hamilton, Ontario. The closest intersection to us is Dundurn St. and Aberdeen Ave. A good landmark is the Aberdeen Tavern, which we are next door to. You can park in the driveway if there is space available, or parking is also available on the road free of charge.
Office: Our office is located in the lower level of the building. When you arrive, please enter through the side door to the left of the building and go down the stairs to get to our office. You can have a seat in the waiting room, where we have magazines and music to enjoy while you wait. Generally you will not be waiting long, and we should be out to get you in less than five minutes.
Start of appointment: If it is your first appointment, there are some housekeeping items we have to go over at the start of the appointment. The main one is signing our consent form, which is a formal agreement to enter into a therapeutic relationship with one of us. We will review the form with you verbally, and then give you a chance to review the form on your own to ensure you understand. Please feel free to ask questions – it is important that you feel informed and that you fully understand consent to participate.
During appointment: Have a specific issue you’d like to address in the first appointment? Great! Not sure what to talk about? That’s okay too! We will always ask if there is a specific issue you were hoping to work on or discuss during the first session, so that you don’t feel it is just us asking questions. If you aren’t sure of what to bring up first or there isn’t something specific you can think of to discuss in the first appointment, we will usually ask more questions about the difficulties you have been experiencing so that we may have a better understanding of how to help.
However, it’s also important to us that the whole appointment isn’t just asking questions, and that you feel you are receiving help and ideas right from the start. We will generally give some suggestions or ideas as to what we can work on, and then give you the option to choose what you feel would be most helpful for you. Therapy that is a collaborative effort between you and your therapist is our goal, instead of the therapist just leading the way!
End of appointment: At the end of the appointment, we may assign “homework” for you to think about or work on for the following week. This homework is always optional, and is totally at your discretion as to whether you have the time and feel if it would be beneficial for you or not. We will also usually discuss what we feel would be beneficial to work on during our next session, so that you have an idea of where things are headed.
We will ask you if you would prefer to book your next appointment then, or if you would prefer to have some time to think about things and email us after to book. We will then process payment, whether it is made via cash, cheque, credit card, or e-transfer. We will then provide you with an invoice, which you may submit to your extended healthcare benefits insurance provider, if applicable.
All in all, you can expect our therapy appointments to last approximately 50 minutes, give or take.
We hope this post clarifies the process of working with us and that learning this information may empower you to take steps towards your own healing.
Have more questions? Feel free to contact me at (289) 689-7194. I’d love to hear from you!