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  • terabuerkle

New to therapy? Here’s what to expect during your first meeting with me.

Updated: May 14, 2022

Your first session (about 55 to 60 minutes)

  1. Review policies and expectations for working together (Paperwork will be sent to you prior to our first meeting.)

  2. Sharing what brings you to therapy (You can share as much or little as you are comfortable with at this stage.)

  3. Answering your questions (about the process of therapy or questions - within reason - about me)


Your first appointment will usually go slightly longer (about 15 to 20 minutes longer) than the standard 50 minute session. I like to give extra time for this first session because we need to review policies and expectations for working together, such as discussing confidentiality and its limits, but I also want to allow you time to discuss your concerns.

We will start by reviewing paperwork that I have sent you prior to our meeting, which is necessary but has the added benefit of allowing us to get to know each other before beginning to share what brings you to therapy. Paperwork will need to be filled out, signed, and given to me before we can begin working together. You can complete paperwork on your own prior to our meeting or you can use the meeting time to do this while I am present with you.

After paperwork has been reviewed, I will ask you a few questions to help you share. I believe each person should move at their own pace, building trust as need be. You do not have to dive in completely at the first session, but you are welcome to – I understand that we are strangers at this point and everyone has a different speed by which they operate. If you have had prior experiences with therapy it will be helpful to let me know what did and did not work for you. If you have specific goals in mind for therapy, it will be helpful to know them. If you do not, that’s ok; we can work on creating therapy goals for you together.

Before the session ends I will invite you to ask me questions about the process of therapy, or if there are questions about me in particular, I will answer them (within reason, of course).

Your honest feedback about your progress is an invaluable part of ongoing therapy. If something is working or not working for you, it’s best to share that with me so that I can adjust to your needs. Your therapy is about you and I am here to help you discover what you need or want to discover.

If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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