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First Therapeutic Session? Here are general questions, answers



After college, when I lived alone for the first time, I decided to try a therapy. Everything around me was new and all the unexplored territory made me feel small and awkward. But I was also a 23-year-old who wanted to talk about dating, and my therapist, referral from a family friend, just wanted to joke about it based on our perception of our first meeting. I left the feeling that I was disappointed, irritated and demeaned. And I never came back.

But here's something: this is not what therapy usually looks like – at least not. You also do not lie on the couch, hold a box of tissues, stare in space while you ask me continually: "How do you feel?" Because the concept of therapy is often filled with confusion and misconceptions, it is time to adjust. the record is right. Here, psychotherapist Lorrie Gottlieb ̵

1; whose new book, Maybe you have to talk to someone follows your trip as a therapist who also goes to therapy – answering all your 101 therapy questions, how to Find the right therapist what to expect from this first session and how to know if it is "working".

You asked, she replied: Find your Therapy 101 cheat sheets.

  Miniature of what you can actually expect from a therapeutic session directly from a nonsense therapist
Photo: Getty Images / FatCamera

1. How do I begin to find a therapist?

To begin, scan the psychology today to get a sense of a therapist, learn their areas of specialty, and their common mood, says Gottlieb. From the mouth help, and you can ask a therapist from a friend to turn to someone who is closer to home. "I have so many clients who come to me and say," My friend is looking for a therapist, can you recommend someone? "She says. – And I absolutely do.

2. Are there any clear signs that my therapist is this one?

Consider dating therapy: Once you get to know someone, your feelings will become clearer. You just have to give him time. "In the first two sessions, I could see very clearly what this person does in terms of relations, but I probably will not mention it," Gottlieb says. "I'm trying to make sure they feel comfortable, so when I feel ready to help them, they're ready to get it."

After several sessions, Gottlieb recommends asking yourself a few questions to check out: "How do you feel in the room with this guy? Do you feel that this guy gets you? Do you feel that this person understands you, does he hear you? "And if the answer is not bright, talk:" If you do not click, do not assume that this is what the whole therapy is, "she says. – Talk to your therapist about it. Not embarrassing! Sometimes you find something that guys can turn around. And sometimes you find that this is simply not appropriate. "

3. Do I need to see a therapist or a psychiatrist?

It depends on what you are looking for. Therapists can not prescribe medication, and psychiatrists can. But they often work together. "If I feel that someone can take medication, I'll turn them to a psychiatrist," says Gottlieb. "That's where the psychiatrist and I meet with this patient. It does not matter where you start. Either way, you'll get to the right place. "

4. Do I have to come up with questions or start a conversation with my first session?

No, do not drink it. Just relax. "Most people are a little worried about meeting a new person. The first session feels very different from other sessions, "says Gottlieb, who uses his initial interactive meeting as a forum to understand why a patient has come to her.

"I point them in a way that will give me this information," she explains. – I'll tell you, "Tell me about what brought you here today." I will have many questions about this and we will talk. "Of course, this can be different depending on the individual. see. So, again, if you do not feel decent, say your concern, try to find a common ground, and if it fails, be prepared to walk.

5. Why do therapists always appear to be compelling notes?

Actually, it's more like something in cinema. Therapists often do not take notes from IRL because it is distracting. "What's happening in the room is so relative and it's hard to be connected when you record what's going on," Gottlieb says. "Sometimes people will take notes at the first meeting to recall all the information. But then we usually do not write. "

Ordinary recording of notes is more like something in cinema. Therapists often do not take notes from IRL because it is distracting. Lory Gottlieb, therapist and author

But she will write a note if she does not want to interrupt a client with her own thoughts. "I'm writing something because I do not want to forget it and want to go back to it."

6. Does my therapist appreciate me?

If they do their job well, they are definitely not. "I often disagree with what you say, but I do not judge," says Gottlieb. "If everything you say works for you, there's no reason to sit in my office. But I have a point of view. "In this way, the sense of shame that patients sometimes feel from the therapist is a projection of their own uncertainty. "They imagine doing this because they feel like an experience in which they have opened up to someone else and have been sued," she says. "Another possibility is that they judge themselves."

7. Will the therapist tell me how to fix my life?

I'm sorry, but they do not give advice; rather it helps you find your own conclusions. "It's not that we deny you the answer, but we do not know what the right answer is for you," Gottlieb says, offering an example of marital disputes. – Someone can say, "Should I stay in my marriage?" Well, if it was me, I would have left. But maybe I would not go into this marriage first. "

Instead, the therapist's role is to help the client through a problem. "In life there is no answer" quote-quote "," right or wrong, "she says. "That's," What is the choice that will make their lives smoother? "

8. Can not I just talk to my friends about what I'm going through?

You can – and must – but keep in mind that they can have a certain bias. Friends can tell you what's needed to make you feel better or keep your honest opinions away from being irritated. "We all want to be a good friend and we do not want our friends to feel unsupported," says Gottlieb. "It's not that we do not call our friends things, but the therapist can do it very cleverly in the therapy room." The way that, if you were friends with this guy, it will not happen the same way. "

9. When will I see the results?

This changes from person to person and largely depends on what you really want these results to be. "The point is, do I want to decide if I'm going to stay with this guy?" This is very specific. Or do I want to stop feeling unhelpful? "Gottlieb asks. "It's something else, it's not like one day, you will not feel unhelpful that you'll wake up this way, maybe you'll be 50% better after a certain period of time, but people do not always stand up to 100%. "

10. How do I know when I can take a step back from therapy

Simply saying when you can talk about it with your therapist." If they did not talk about it, that means they might are afraid if they do, will find they are not ready, "says Gottlieb.

" Our goal is to make you leave [therapy] This is a terrible business model. We want to help you, and part of it is to help manage what you are fighting with, and then you can manage it yourself. "- Gottlieb

But therapists are not here to seduce you a week. – Our goal is to make you leave. she added. "This is a terrible business model. We want to help you, and part of it is to help you cope with what you are fighting with, and then you can manage it yourself. "

Again, I think about dating therapy. "There is a difference between whether you're going to a virtual date or sitting in a room with someone," says Gottlieb, who meets his clients personally and via Skype. "Not so much what you see, but how you feel. When someone weeps or tells you a really intense story and you sit there in the safe room of this room where there is no distraction, you feel so different from sitting wherever you are with your laptop. Something happens to the energy in the room that just can not happen on Skype. "

12. Is there a therapy for everyone?

Surprisingly, no. "I do not think everyone should try it," says Gottlieb. "But I think therapy can help you understand yourself and your place in the world. We all have blind spots and most of us have ways to shoot at the feet without realizing it. Sometimes these ways are small and do not seem to disturb day by day functioning. But sometimes they do it. Therapy helps us to understand how we treat the world and therefore how we treat ourselves. "

Check strategies to promote mental health so effective that therapists themselves depend on them. Here's how you can find LGTB + Positive Therapist.


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