For many, the toughest part of going to therapy is the very first session. Walking through the door is a huge step. If you have never been to a therapist and you are willing to give it a try, you probably have questions about what to expect out of a New Orleans therapy session. The purpose of this guide is to help you feel more educated on the process and how to prepare.
Important Things to Know About a New Orleans Therapy Session
Going to therapy does not mean you are "crazy."
You are not “crazy” if you decide to enter therapy. In fact, typically the opposite is true. Seeking outside support is a sign of resilience. Therapy is about knowing yourself better, improving your relationships and working toward making decisions that improve quality of life.
Therapy Is an Investment.
Therapy is an investment of your time, energy and finances. It is hard work. Getting in the door will provide some immediate relief but most people find long-term change and results come with time.
You Need to Feel Comfortable
Movies and television have made it easy to conjure up an image of the stereotypical therapist. Good therapy does not feel like a cliché. Therapists are not there to judge or criticize you.
A therapist’s job is to collaborate with you and find solutions that work in your life.
Therapy Needs to Be for You (not your loved one)
Therapy will be more difficult than it needs to be if you are coming solely because of external pressure. If a person in your life is suggesting that you seek counseling, consider how you feel about this decision. If you are only going for someone else, you may be less inclined to open up and you will probably find many reasons why it is not helpful.
What to Expect Out of Therapy
There are a wide range of therapy styles out there. If you are looking for a therapist, gathering information on the internet and then reaching out to a professional you are interested in is a helpful first step. If you respond positively to what you learn and are ready to make an appointment, the first session will typically involve a lot of questions and information gathering. It is a time to share your history, the reasons that bring you in and to clarify goals. Most importantly, it is a time to ask yourself, “do I feel comfortable with this person?”
According to the American Psychological Association, clients need to trust their therapist, feel understood, and genuinely believe that their therapist can help them.
Contact Dr. Arian Elfant
Dr. Arian Elfant is an Uptown, New Orleans-based therapist who specializes in the treatment of numerous mental health conditions. Dr. Elfant has over 15 years of experience treating patients in New Orleans. Contact her with all your questions online or call her at (504) 319 - 6800.