I’ve never been to therapy – what do I need to know?

Good question, we’re glad you asked! 

First of all, make sure you’re seeing a licensed therapist (or an intern working under a licensed therapist). For understanding licenses, you can refer to a previous blog here: 

https://www.simplythrivetherapy.com/question-what-is-the-difference-between-a-therapist-and-a-counselor/

For some good questions to ask a potential therapist, we wrote about that here:

https://www.simplythrivetherapy.com/questions-to-ask-your-potential-therapist/

Here’s a few other nuts and bolts about therapy.

Your first visit will be about getting background information, determining why you want therapy and what you want out of it, and it’ll be a chance for you to get to know your therapist and get comfortable with them.

The second visit is usually to narrow down your therapy goals, do some more assessment if needed (e.g. a questionnaire on anxiety or depression), and decide on a course of action. This is just to keep things on track, because we end up talking about a lot of things in therapy and we don’t want to forget what our goals are! 

The course of action is usually very flexible and can change if something comes up, either current or from the past, that turns out to be more distressing than the original issue and needs attention. 

The length of time that therapy takes can vary wildly; the goal is to help you get to the point where you don’t need the therapist any more, but we also want to make sure we don’t leave you without the support you need. Sometimes a few months is enough. Sometimes people need ongoing care. It depends on a lot of factors, but ultimately you are in control of your therapeutic journey and you decide what feels best for you. The therapist is there to collaborate and provide input, but you make the decisions about your treatment. 

If you have more questions, please give us a call at one of our clinics in Cary, Apex, or Fuquay-Varina!

CarrieAnn Lefsaker

Mental Health Student Intern