What to Expect During Therapy
By Jordan Nonte, LSW – November 3, 2021 –
I’ll be honest; pregnancy is one of my biggest fears. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with therapy, but stick with me for a moment. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to welcoming a child into a family.
The thing is, no matter how much I research and prepare, I know that everyone’s experience is different. There is no way to be completely prepared. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith, branch out of your comfort zone, and do the thing that scares you.
Guess what? Therapy is the same way. Although you can’t research exactly what you’ll experience, it can help you feel a little less anxious if you know what to expect when you walk into your first session.
There are many different types of therapy: psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, solution-focused, and motivational interviewing to name a few. Your therapist will determine which of these would be the most beneficial for your goals. They may assist in creating a treatment plan to develop specific goals, objectives, and interventions to track your progress.
Some common reasons one may seek therapy is to get a handle on anxiety, depression, anger, grief, marital/family issues, trauma, addiction, stress, and crises. You may just want to talk through something and get a second opinion. Therapy may be short-term and focus mainly on problem solving, or it may last longer to explore factors contributing to a larger issue.
I’ll be honest, therapy takes work. Be aware that your therapist may give you “homework.” It is very important to fully participate in therapy, stay engaged, and follow through with any outside work.
Confidentiality is a major factor in services. Your therapist will have you sign an informed consent document, likely the first day you meet. Therapists have a duty to report abuse and neglect.
The only professionals that can prescribe psychiatric medication in the state of Indiana are physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners. However, your therapist can always refer you if you feel that medication is necessary for your success.
In a nutshell, therapy is different for everyone. Remember that it is always okay to ask for help. Many people may wait until the last second to get therapy because it makes them feel like a failure, weak, or ashamed.
I heard a quote once that has always stuck with me: “Going to a therapist or counselor when you’re sad or overwhelmed should be as normal as going to the doctor when you have the flu.”
Don’t wait until you’re on your last straw to seek help. Talk to your family physician about their recommendations in the area or do your own research to schedule an appointment.