The Therapy Process
Seeing a Psychologist for the first time can be a pretty daunting thing. It can feel quite unnatural talking to someone you just met about things you might not have told anyone else before. It's completely normal to feel nervous about starting therapy or question whether it is right for us. We've put together some information here to help shed some light on what to expect when seeing a Psychologist.
What should I expect from seeing a Psychologist?
The first 1 - 3 sessions are part of the intake assessment where your Psychologist will get to know you and your goals for therapy by asking you lots of questions about your current situation and background. This is also a chance to get to see if you feel comfortable with your Psychologist.
Once your Psychologist has a broader picture of your situation, they will discuss a treatment plan for therapy in partnership with you. This is to make sure you're both on the same page.
Then your Psychologist will make some suggestions as to what therapy could look like in order to work towards your specific goals. This will be different for every person as these are tailored to your unique situation and goals for therapy.
If your priorities change over time, please let your Psychologist know that you would like to change direction.
How long does a session go for?
Your session with a Psychologist typically involves 50 minutes of discussion and 10 minutes for your Psychologist to fill out your paperwork.
How many sessions with a Psychologist will I need?
This will vary from person to person depending on your individual situation and goals for therapy. In general, shorter periods of therapy may range from 6 – 12 sessions to address a specific stressor that has popped up for the first time.
Other clients may have longer involvement in therapy over years to maintain their mental wellbeing, work towards their goals for therapy, and to prevent relapse.
Please let your Psychologist know if you have any concerns about how many sessions you might need and they will be able to give you a clearer estimate based on your goals
How often will I need to see a Psychologist?
This will also vary person to person but typically, in the early stages of therapy, weekly to fortnightly sessions are recommended.
This is so your Psychologist understands your situation, background, and goals for therapy and can begin working with you on a plan. Once this plan has been made, having more frequent sessions means you’re able to remember what’s been spoken about in session and momentum can build much faster.
If sessions are infrequent or sporadic, this may slow down the progress that can be made in therapy. Once you feel more confident in your ability to tackle the stressor, sessions can be extended out to longer frequencies (e.g. monthly).
How do I make the most out of therapy?
Great question! Some clients find it helpful to take dot points of things they would like to discuss with their Psychologist. These may include incidents that happened, reflections you made, any tasks to take home, or questions you have. Other clients might find practising or experimenting with the skills learnt in a session can really help. Your Psychologist will always work closely with you to help find ways to make the most out of therapy.
What if I don't like my Psychologist?
Just as you wouldn’t necessarily stay with the first GP you’ve seen, you're not expected to stay with your first psychologist too!
Therapy is all about you and it's so important that you have the right fit so that you feel comfortable to share your experiences in the sessions. Please let your Psychologist or our admin team know your concerns and they will do their best to refer you on to a colleague who may be better able to connect with you.
It's a very normal thing to not immediately connect with everyone you meet - and this applies to your Psychologist too! Here is some more information on the different types of Psychologists and finding the right fit for you.