What To Expect at Your First Therapy Session

Lauren J. Hellkamp waiting area
My waiting area

The first time you meet with a therapist, it can feel extremely uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong! There aren’t a lot of spaces in our lives for us to freely talk about ourselves, process our thoughts and feelings, and have someone to truly listen and want to hear it all. Making the decision to begin therapy is hard enough, but then you have to actually sit down with this person you don’t know? Awkward.

I find that it can be helpful to walk into this situation knowing what you can expect. So, let’s start from the beginning with what you can expect when you come into my office…

  1. My waiting area is quiet and small, and there is typically no more than one (or maybe two) other people in there at any given time. You can feel free to sit in the waiting area until I come out and get you, or if you’d rather not do that, you are welcome to wait in your car and simply text me when you arrive and I’ll let you know when to head inside. This began during the pandemic, but I’ve realized that it is a nice option to have if you value your privacy and just feel more comfortable waiting until you can come straight into the office.
  2. Once you’re in the office, you will see that I am human, I’m pretty bad at small talk, and I tend to drink a lot of water during sessions!
  3. The initial session comes with paperwork…this is likely the only time you’ll have to fill out any paperwork aside from an occasional signature here and there, but we do need to get through that process. Most of my paperwork is electronic, so before you even come into the session you will have already filled a bunch of it out online through my Client Portal. We’ll go through that and make sure we didn’t miss anything when you first come in.
  4. Once the paperwork is out of the way and I’ve answered any questions you may have, we’ll get started. Sessions are typically between 45-60 minutes, and when I first starting meeting with a new client, we meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. As time goes on, we will decide together what feels best for you as to how often you’d like to meet.

I hope this alleviates some uncertainty for you, and you can always feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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