What does therapy look like? What to expect and how to choose your therapist.

What does therapy look like? The first session or two of therapy is a time for mutual connection, a time for the therapist to learn about you and your concerns. The therapist may ask for a mental and physical health history. It’s also a good idea to talk to the therapist about what you hope to achieve in therapy. Together, you can set goals and benchmarks that you can use to measure your progress along the way.

This is also an important time for you to be evaluating your connection with your therapist. Do you feel like your therapist cares about your situation, and is invested in your recovery? Do you feel comfortable asking questions and sharing sensitive information? Remember, your feelings as well as your thoughts are important, so if you are feeling uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to consider another therapist.

 

Every counselling therapist is different, but there are usually some similarities to how therapy is structured. Normally, sessions will last about an hour, and often be about once a week, although for more intensive therapy they maybe more often. Therapy is normally conducted in the therapist’s office, but therapists also work in hospitals and nursing homes, and in some cases will do home visits.

1. Expect a good fit between you and your therapist.  Don't settle for bad fit. You may need to see one or more therapists until you experience feeling understood and accepted.

2. Therapy is a partnership.  Both you and your therapist contribute to the healing process. You're not expected to do the work of recovery all by yourself, but your therapist can’t do it for you either. Therapy should feel like a collaboration.

3. Therapy will not always feel pleasant.  Painful memories, frustrations or feelings might surface. This is a normal part of therapy and your therapist will guide you through this process. Be sure to communicate with your therapist about how you are feeling.

4. Therapy should be a safe place.  While there will be times when you’ll feel challenged or when you’re facing unpleasant feelings, you should always feel safe. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or you’re dreading your therapy sessions, talk to your therapist.