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What To Expect When Starting Therapy

At Centric Mental Health, we make the steps to starting therapy as easy as possible, but it can be helpful to know what to expect from your first session

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What to Expect

Attending counselling for the first time can feel a little daunting, especially when you’re not sure exactly what it will involve. But just knowing a bit more about what to expect can put you at ease and help you to get the most out of your first session.

Getting Started

At Centric Mental Health, we make getting started with therapy as easy as possible. Once you are ready to talk, all you have to do is get in touch with us or book an appointment online, and our helpful and friendly booking team will schedule you in for your Initial Consultation.

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Initial Consultations can take place either digitally or face-to-face at a clinic location convenient to you, and are 45 minutes in length. During this time, our clinician will get to know you and the challenges you are facing, in order to ensure that you are matched with the right treatment approach, service and therapist for your needs. Following this, our client team will communicate your individualised treatment plan to you, and your therapy journey can begin.

Find out more about our Initial Consultation and matching process here.

It’s Different For Everyone

Attending counselling for the first time can bring up a lot of different feelings: it may feel exciting, intimidating, confusing, or a mix of all these and more. A situation in which you are talking to a person that you have never met before, in a place that you have never been before, about things that you may not talk to many (or indeed any) other people about is naturally going to bring up different emotions for different people:

  • Sometimes people will worry that their psychologist is going to listen to them tell their story and then respond with the feedback that they are fundamentally broken and beyond help.
  • Others will worry that their psychologist will dismiss their concerns as minor and not worth the psychologist’s time.
  • Some people may be very excited about coming in and getting to talk about what has been on their mind.
  • Some may worry that they will break down when they start talking about their difficulties and won’t be able to put themselves back together.
  • And some others may be concerned that because they are not exactly sure what is going on then this is a negative sign.

But these feelings are understandable, and very normal and natural. No matter what a client is feeling when starting therapy we aim to ensure that they are heard, and come away from sessions with a better understanding of their mental health, and the belief that progress can be made through engagement with the service.


Finding What Works For You

As mentioned, your first therapy session with us will be an Initial Consultation, in which the clinician will get to know you and the challenges you are facing in order to ensure that you are matched with the right service for you.

During this session, the clinician will speak with you about what brings you to therapy, what you may be struggling with, and what your experiences of this are. Your first session will also involve gathering a general history of the issues that you are experiencing, as well as an understanding of what factors may be influencing your experiences both in the past and the present. Following this, what positive change will mean for you and how this will be recognised both inside and outside of sessions will also be discussed.

From here, the active intervention process of therapy will begin via your individualised treatment plan. This will typically require a number of subsequent sessions, with your assigned therapist checking in with you at each point to ensure that treatment is moving in an effective and positive direction, and that your symptoms and overall mental health are improving.

Working Together To Reach Your Goals

We encourage clients to be active consumers of our services and invite discussion about what your hopes or expectations are for the therapeutic process. We also welcome an overview of client’s goals.  If, after 4-6 sessions, you feel you are not moving towards your goals this should be discussed openly in session.

As you start therapy or counselling it may be helpful to keep in mind that it is completely acceptable to be unclear about issues that you are experiencing. Similarly, you may not know exactly what you need to get yourself back on track. Often an important part of the process is determining specifically what it is that you are struggling with and what may be helpful for you to start feeling better and working towards your goals more effectively.


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