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How to make the most out of your initial consultation with a new therapist

Congratulations - you’ve made the decision to start exploring your options for therapy! Getting started can be one of the trickiest parts of improving your mental health. Now that you’ve decided on practitioners you may potentially work with, what is the next step?


At Sedâ Psychotherapy, you start with a complimentary 15-minute phone or video consultation with a member of our team. How you go about using that time is up to you, but these areas of concentration can help you make the most out of your initial consultation.


1) What brings you to therapy?


This can be an intimidating topic for many of us. It can be hard enough to be vulnerable with people you already know and trust; being vulnerable with someone who is a stranger to you can feel extra challenging.


It may be helpful to jot down your Big Three (or one, or two, or five) in advance - the areas you feel are most essential to start with in therapy, or those you hope to address once trust and rapport are established. These areas can include current stressors, things that have happened in the past, a mental health diagnosis - whatever motivated you to reach out for support. Go into as much or as little detail as you feel comfortable with.


2) What can you (therapist) do for me (client)?


This is an opportunity to ask questions of your therapist such as: which modalities are you trained in? Which populations are you passionate about working with? What about what I have shared so far is an area of interest for you? How long have you been in the field? What does a typical session look like with you? What is your general approach to counselling - are you more guiding, affirming, challenging?


If there is a particular style of therapy you’re curious about, this is your opportunity to ask the therapist how adept they are with that treatment, and to provide examples of how using that modality would look for your specific needs.


3) What are the practicalities of working with you?


Don’t be shy - ask all of the questions about pricing, frequency of meetings, insurance billing, availability of the therapist, and what our virtual therapy platform (the Jane app) looks like. Inquire about areas of therapy that you like and those you are less enthusiastic about. For example, some people hate homework (therapeutic tasks to complete between sessions) and others love the work done outside of sessions. Be honest about what your preferences are to make sure you get matched with a therapist who can do the most for you.


At Sedâ Psychotherapy, we are honoured you’re considering us during the first steps on your journey to feeling better. Interested in meeting with one of the therapists on our team? Book a free consultation here.


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