Prior to Therapy
When you find a therapist, make sure you research background and credentials. Also, check with your insurance company to make sure that your insurance covers therapy. If you do not have insurance, check your state's website to find information about services.
Before the appointment:
Make a list of questions you would like to ask the therapist, such as
- What therapeutic approach they use and how successful it might be
- How long the sessions will be and how many you will need
- What your goals should be
- Think about what you would like to talk about in therapy.
Description of Therapy
During the first session, the therapist will ask you a lot of questions to find out about your background, family, relationships, mental health, and current problems. It may take several sessions for the therapist to decide on a treatment plan.
During the session, you will be asked about your thoughts and feelings, as well as how you respond to situations. In the beginning, you might not feel comfortable sharing personal information. Over time, you should begin to see the benefits.
As the therapy progresses, you may get upset and cry or become angry. This is normal, since you will be dealing with strong emotions and difficult events. After the session, you may feel tired from releasing these feelings.
What you discuss in therapy is confidential. There are only a few cases where the therapist must share information with the police, including if you tell the therapist that you:
- Are going to harm yourself or someone else
- Have abused a child or an adult (eg, a person with a disability or an elderly person)
Beyond individual therapy, psychotherapy may also be in the form of:
- Marriage counseling
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
How Long Will It Take?
You may meet with your therapist once a week for about an hour. The number of sessions you have depends on your reason for coming into therapy. Short-term therapy may take a month. In some cases, you may need to continue therapy for a year or longer.