Do you have anxiety about therapy? Here’s 3 Tips From a Counselor to Help.
While there may be many things in your life that bring anxiety, nothing gets a heart racing like considering making an initial appointment for therapy. Let me call out the elephant in the room: having anxiety about therapy is a very normal experience. When you think about it, any experience that is unfamiliar to you is bound to produce some kind of discomfort and worry. As a counselor who wants to help those who have anxiety about therapy, I’ve found the source of a lot of anxiety is the unknown. I want to help ease some of your anxiety by providing 3 tips that can help decrease some of your anxiety about therapy:
Get familiar with the therapist (read a bio).
I am surprised by how many clients sit across from me and have no idea who I am. Many clients call a therapist’s office and ask for someone who works with “X”. This is a great place to start, but consider what other aspects of a therapist may be important to you: Race? Gender? Married or single? Therapeutic background? For example, if you know you do not like homework and get paired with a therapist who’s bio reads: There will be homework after every session, then you know off the bat this therapist may not be the best fit.
While this isn’t required, it can help you feel more comfortable with who you’re meeting with. The more familiar you can get with a therapist before the session, the more comfortable you may feel at the first session. And let me let you in on a little secret: The therapist is nervous as well! It can be nerve wracking on our end to meet a new client that we may or may not connect with.
Anxiety Tip #1: Don’t like a therapist? That’s okay! We recommend giving a therapist 3-5 sessions to give the connection time to develop. If you’re still not feeling “connected”, feel free to ask for a different therapist. The goal of therapy is to create a safe environment of trust to ensure the client is getting the best care possible. SEVN Therapy Co. offers a wonderful group of therapists who are ready to meet your therapeutic needs.
Consider goals for therapy before session.
Another common source of anxiety for clients is the dreaded question: What are we even going to talk about in session? Many clients know they need therapy but are unsure about where they want to start. If you have the space, consider writing down goals for therapy. What are some questions you have? What concerns do you want to bring up? What’s been bothering you to keep you up at night? Coming prepared with questions can help remove some anxiety about awkward moments and lulls in conversations.
Anxiety Tip #2: Many clients have found it helpful to have a notebook dedicated to therapy. Whether that is to write down insightful pieces of information discussed in the session or document relevant experiences or things that may need to be processed in the next session. No notebook? No problem. Use your notes app on your phone. Don’t like writing? That’s fine! Many phones offer audio voice to text where you can speak into the phone and the phone will translate your voice into words.
Assess expectations for the therapeutic process.
Some people may feel anxious about therapy because they may have a misguided view of what therapy actually is. If you’ve seen a therapy session on TV or heard a friend mention a bad therapy session, you may have negative or misguided expectations about what will actually happen during the session. Take a second and consider. What are your expectations for therapy? Are any of those expectations from media or negative influences? What could actually go right in therapy? What would it take for you to have a positive experience with therapy?
Anxiety Tip #3: It can be helpful to write down any questions you have about therapy (and your therapist) before the session and ask them during the session. Your therapist wants to make you feel as comfortable as possible. I always enjoy when clients come with questions and want to learn more about therapy.
Take the first step. Schedule an intake session.
The truth is, you will never know everything before your first session. And while therapy can require commitment and dedication, you can be assured that our team of trained professionals are available to help you through every step of the process. Where do you start? By calling us today and setting up an appointment. Here at SEVN Therapy Co in Colleyville, we’re dedicated to making sure you have a great therapeutic experience. I can help assist you with getting acclimated to the therapy process and achieving your therapeutic goals. Click here to schedule a session with me online or call us at 817-778-0522.