What to Expect at Your First Psychologist Appointment?

It’s natural to feel anxious before you embark on your journey to achieving mental health. Perhaps you’ve scheduled an appointment with a psychologist, and you don’t know what to expect. Or perhaps you want to start therapy, but you don’t know where to begin. At BE Psychology Center for Emotional Well-being, we understand it takes courage to ask for help. We want to make sure you are comfortable and fully prepared for your first psychotherapy appointment.

 

Choosing the Right Therapist

If you haven’t already scheduled your appointment, you need to find the right therapist for your specific mental health goals. No two clients are the same and it’s important to ask the right questions to choose the best fit for your needs.

 

Consider the following questions when selecting a therapist:

  • Background: What is your educational background? What certifications do you have? What training have they received to prepare you as a therapist?
  • Experience: How long have you been working as a Psychotherapist? What specialized training or experience do you have in dealing with the issues I am dealing with?
  • Specialties: What type of therapy do you practice? Do you specialize in CBT, Psychodynamic, eclectic, etc?
  • Affiliations: What professional associations do you belong to?
  • Cost: What are the costs associated with a therapy session? Will my insurance cover a portion or all of my session fees?

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Paperwork

Like any other medical appointment, you first appointment with a psychologist will be similar to a doctor’s appointment. When you arrive, you’ll be expected to sign in, sit in the waiting room, and wait for your name to be called. Depending on the office protocol, you may be required to fill our paperwork while you wait, or you may be expected to fill it out before your appointment. 

 

Paperwork may include, but is not limited to:

  • Insurance information
  • Medical history
  • Client questionnaire about your symptoms
  • Medical record release form
  • Therapist-patient agreement form
  • Continentality agreement
  • COVID-19 screening

If at any time you feel uncomfortable answering these questions on paper, you can ask to tell your therapist verbally.

 

Your Therapy First Session

Your first therapy session will be slightly different from your subsequent sessions. During your first session, you’ll use your time to get to know your therapist. During this time, you’ll discuss what you hope to gain out of therapy and what your specific mental health goals are. Your future therapy sessions will be more therapeutic in nature. For example, in your second session, you may explore a specific problem or trauma you mentioned in your first sessions.

 

During your first therapy session, your psychologist may ask you the following questions:

  • What brought you to therapy today?
  • What areas of your life would you liketo improve?
  • What are your mental health challenges?

Your therapist will also ask you about your history, to include your family, childhood, relationships (friends, family, and romantic), your education, your career, etc. They will also discuss their confidentiality policies, so you are fully aware and comfortable with sharing intimate details about your life.

 

Length of Treatment

During your first psychologist appointment, you and your therapist will discuss the length and frequency of your sessions. For example, you may require one weekly session lasting 45-55 minutes per session. You will also discuss the types of methods that will be used to help you achieve your goals. For example, do you require individual sessionscouples therapy, or family therapy? Perhaps you require help navigating anxietyanger, or addiction?

You may be wondering how long it will take to “feel better.” However, there is no simple answer. Every individual has specific needs, and those needs will determine the number of sessions you need to achieve your goals. 

 

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Types of Therapy

Psychologists have training in a variety of techniques and specialties that can help you or a loved one develop the coping skills and mindset needed to manage your relationships, mental illness, and create the changes you desire in your life. Together with your therapist you will discover the technique best suited for specific needs. 

 

Types of therapy can include: 

 

BE Psychology

If you or a loved one need help improving mental health or addressing a mental illness, you’re not alone. The professionals at BE Psychology Center want to help you on your path to achieving your mental health goals. Our team consists of psychologists with a wide range of expertise and experience committed to helping your personal development. We understand that asking for help takes courage, and we are passionate about helping our clients find the solutions they need to deal with depression.

Contact a member of our team to schedule your free phone consultation with a psychologist in Dubai today.

 

 

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Reem Shaheen – LMHC