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  • Rane Wallace, MS, LPC, LCDC, SAP

What To Expect In Your First Therapy Session at Fort Wellness Counseling

Updated: 15 hours ago

If you have never attended a therapy session before, or if it has been since you attended a few counseling sessions in grade school, you might be curious about what to expect in therapy. First of all, it’s totally ok and normal to be nervous about your first session. The good news is that most therapist are required to attend therapy while working on their master’s in therapy, and so they should know what it is like to be on the other side of the chair. So needless to say, most of us have been through it and we know what it is like. We want to make the process is as seamless as possible for you, while also helping you to achieve the results that you are hoping for. Below we will discuss what you should expect in therapy in hopes of easing your nerves and taking the fear of the unknown out of the equation.

If you attend your first therapy session at Fort Wellness Counseling, after getting scheduled and on the day of your appointment, you will receive an individualized email reminding you about your upcoming session and a text message as well reminding you about the appointment and the address. Feel free to respond that you will make it or if you have any questions, as this reminder will be coming directly from your therapist. Prior to the session, it would be helpful to prepared for it by mapping out your drive to the office so that you are not having to do this last minute, which would undoubtedly make it nerve wrecking! You can click here to see exactly where we are located.


Upon your arrival, your counselor will greet you at the door and introduce themselves. We will ask you if you want something to drink, such as a cold bottled water, a cup of hot tea, or a fresh cup of hot coffee. We will then ask you to have a seat in our waiting area in order for you to fill out your intake paperwork which includes two important forms: 1.) The Main Intake Form (which is a typical intake form that you would expect to see in a medical providers office), and 2.) The Orientation and Informed Consent Form. The Orientation and Informed Consent Form goes over information such as confidentiality, the cost of therapy, any cancellation policies, the risk in attending therapy, etc.


Once you get done completing the paperwork, we will be able to get started. Upon finishing the paperwork you will walk into your therapist's office, we will shut the door to protect your privacy, and get the process started. We will spend the first 5 to 10 minutes reviewing the paperwork, what to expect in therapy, how confidentiality applies to therapy, our cancellation policy, and other items on the Orientation & Informed Consent Form. After reviewing this form, we will ask if you have any questions on what we reviewed. After answering questions on these two forms, we will be able to officially get started with the counseling process.


The first question we will usually start off with after going over paperwork, will be something along the lines of, “what brings you in here today” or, "where do you want to start?" This is usually the part where you will explain the presenting reasons for attending therapy. We will ask some follow-up questions on this and try to get a good understanding of what the problem is. We will ask you about what your highest hopes are in terms of what you want to get out of therapy. We will ask you what some of the things will be that you will notice once you have achieved the results you are looking for. We will ask about what your goals are for attending therapy. We will ask if you have been to therapy before or not and other types of background questions that will help us to get a detailed understanding of you and your past. Every client is unique, and every situation is different, and so therefore, while this article is a generic template, this is a rough picture for what you should expect in your first session.


We will discuss the counseling process and discuss with you the frequency with attending therapy. While your therapist will tell you their recommendation for how often we think would be appropriate for you to attend therapy, the frequency of therapy will be determined on the severity of the problem and how often you are wanting to come in. This is a decision that we will make together. Counseling will usually start off at either every week or every other week (although for some it is monthly), and as therapy progresses, we will scale the frequency back.


Towards the end of the first session, we will ask you if you found the session to be helpful. A common question would be, “What, if anything, was helpful about this session today?” At the end of the session, we will get your next session scheduled if you want to proceed and then wrap up and lastly take payment. Please see the FAQ page, Rates page and the Schedule page that has all of our prices listed out so there are no surprises when you show up!


After the first session, it would be helpful for you to check in with yourself about how you think the session went. Was it comfortable? Was it helpful? Do you think that you “clicked” well with your therapist and that they understood you? Results that you are looking for most likely will not come after the first session, but you should have a good idea of whether or not you think you will enjoy working with your therapist. According to research, one of the most important factors on therapeutic outcomes, is what is referred to as the therapeutic alliance. In short, the therapeutic alliance is how well you and your therapist connect, behave, and engage with each other. If you do not think your therapist was a good fit because you had a difficult time connecting with them, don’t worry – there are several others in the area that do great work! What is important is that you find a therapist that will be helpful for you in order for you to accomplish what you want to achieve while attending therapy.


If you are interested in seeing if Fort Wellness Counseling in Fort Worth will be a good fit for what you are hoping to accomplish in therapy, you can reach out to our counselor and therapist by emailing Rane at ranewallace@fortwellness.com, use the Contact Form, or call or text us at 682-232-4003. If you call and we don't answer immediately, just leave a voicemail and we will return your call shortly.


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