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  • Lisa Smith

What Happens in the First Session of Counselling and Psychotherapy?

Updated: Feb 9

If it is your first time visiting a counsellor or psychotherapist it can feel incredibly daunting, unlike other appointments it is difficult to know what to expect, what questions will be asked and how intrusive it could be are all reasons I have had as to why someone won't attend.

The first session is an assessment session which depending on who you are seeing will involve some practicalities and an intake form might be filled out, which can include:

  • Full Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Address

  • Telephone/email address

  • Next of kin

  • Doctor Details

  • Medical History and Medication

  • Relevant Mental Health History

Space will also be provided for:

  • You to talk about why you've come to therapy

  • what do you wish to get out of therapy

  • Concerns and worries about attending

Most therapists, if they haven't already explained the way they working on first contact will also:

  • Their background and qualifications

  • Which professional body they're registered with

  • Their confidentiality and GDPR policy which may include mentions of a clinical will

  • The type of therapy they provide

  • Their experience working with people who have similar problems

  • How long the therapy will last, and how many sessions they can offer

  • What to do if either of you need to miss or cancel a session

  • Their fees, if they charge fees

When attending therapy it is important you ask all the questions you need to, and you feel comfortable with your therapist.

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