If you are preparing to have a free therapy consultation, congrats on taking the first step to changing things!
There are 5 important things to consider before your free therapy consultation. A free therapy consultation is a wonderful chance to test drive what it would be like to work with a potential therapist.
But, it isn’t therapy. So, what is it? And how do you squeeze all that you can out of it?
1. Arrive early enough to get yourself a nice beverage and sit for a minute.
This will help you take in the scenery and prepare yourself. You may be a little nervous or excited, and if you don’t give yourself a chance to catch your breath you may find that the consultation is half over before you feel present enough to really do #1 and #2 well. Just sayin’.
2. Come ready to spit out your questions.
A good therapist should welcome questions, and their response style will help you decide if you think the therapist can help you. Ask the things that you are hesitant to ask. Are you worried that the therapist is going to judge you? Are you unsure about how the therapist is going to handle certain things? Ask! You are interviewing the therapist, and this is your chance to speak up and get their take on whatever is bugging you about the prospect of having therapy.
3. Come ready to answer some questions.
A consultation is not a time to go into a deep history of your issues, but it is a time to get a snapshot of what you can expect from therapy. The only way to know what to expect is to have a map of where you want to go, and where you don’t want to go. Be ready to answer questions about what you want to get out of counseling, what you DON’T want to get out of counseling, and what is going to happen if counseling doesn’t work. Not only will this help you clarify these things for yourself, it will help you and your therapist talk about your fears and expectations about the process. This will get you off to a running start in your work together.
4. Think about whether you like the therapist as a person.
It’s most important that you feel comfortable with the professional that you have chosen. Research shows that your relationship and how much you just genuinely like the therapist accounts for the majority of your progress in therapy. This is more important than their skills, their particular type of degree, etc. While it doesn’t mean that these things are unimportant, it does mean that your number one task is tuning in to your gut and seeing if this person could be a good fit for you. Any good therapist would agree and say that if you aren’t comfortable with them they would be happy to help you find someone with whom you are comfortable. And definitely choose a therapist that everyone is OK with if you are coming in as a couple/family.
5. Bring your calendar/schedule so that you can book your first session right there, if you are ready.
There is a good chance that if you leave without booking that session, it’s not going to happen. Maybe you don’t want to, but if you do intend to work with the therapist book it. Don’t let the momentum of the consultation be wasted by letting life get in the way (again) and leave you in the same place six months from now – needing to go see a therapist instead of happily living a different life. You won’t be pressured to book at the time, but experience tells me that getting that first session booked is the best way to safeguard yourself from getting derailed.
If you are struggling with relationships and are looking for a way to experience more love, understanding, and respect, contact us to set up a free therapy consultation in Denver or Lakewood today. We can look at what your options are and help you unlock the kind of life you really want.