Menu Close

What Should I Expect My First Time in Therapy?

man meets therapist for first time

Since mental illness has a long history of stigmatization in our culture, (a reputation we are still working to eradicate), the average person used to be very reluctant to associate themselves with psychotherapy.  Now, however, we are beginning to accept that mental illness is incredibly common, and that talk therapy can benefit just about everyone. But due to the lingering stigma, or in some cases, a lack of access, many people continue to go years without receiving therapy for mental health and addiction issues.  If you are someone who is considering therapy for the first time or will be participating in therapy as part of an addiction treatment program, it is normal to be unsure of what to expect.   Therapy sessions usually start with your therapist asking you what has been on your mind lately.  Your therapist is there to help you problem-solve and to guide you towards your own solutions. Everyone encounters tough situations in life, as well as emotions that are painful to process.  While talking about how you feel or asking for advice can be helpful, it is sometimes difficult to find someone you can confide in or that can offer a logical perspective. Having a therapist gives you access to a trained professional that can see the larger picture of your circumstances, and allow you to vent while discouraging you from going down a destructive path.   Additionally, therapy is a place where you can talk about your thoughts and feelings without the fear of being criticized or of hurting someone’s feelings.  Your therapist will listen to how you are feeling and what you are going through, take notes, and provide feedback. That feedback might include actions for you to take before your next sessions, such as journaling or physical exercise.  If you are being seen in conjunction with addiction treatment, your therapist may focus on helping you manage cravings and prevent relapse, while also working through past trauma.

Therapy is one critical aspect of a holistic treatment plan for those struggling with addiction.  If you or someone you love has developed an addiction, now is the time to reach out for help. At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.