What to Expect From Therapy

Thank you for considering therapy at CARE. We recognize the decision to go to therapy can be very difficult and our team wants to support you as much as we can. This can be done by finding a therapist at CARE Counseling, identifying community resources in the Twin Cities or providing psycho-ed (fancy term for blog posts :).

Below is a client friendly explanation of the first several sessions for therapy.  We hope this will be helpful in setting appropriate expectations.  If you have any additional questions please email us at info@care-clinics.com or call us at 612-223-8898, option 1 for scheduling

What is therapy?

It is a conversation where you and a trained professional dive into how you are feeling and work to help you learn skills or gain comfort with the elements of your life/health that are hindering your happiness. Realistically, it is going to be weird at first. Therapy starts as a conversation with a complete stranger and you are asked to share the most personal elements of your life; but it gets way better over time as you create a relationship with a professional who is exclusively focused on helping you to improve your life experience by leveraging a minimum of years of training.

Pro-tip: most people use the terms therapy, counseling, & psychotherapy interchangeably…we do outpatient psychotherapy which is basically an hour chatting with a clinician

What happens in the first several sessions?

The first few sessions, the clinician is trying to gather information. You’ll be asked some basic questions so that your clinician can get to know you and find out what you’d like to get out of therapy. You may find it helpful to share things about your current challenges, past experiences, or important aspects of your identity. In the second and third sessions, your clinician will help make a “road map” which is a plan with goals or topics that you’d like to focus on in therapy.

How can I get the most out of therapy?

Effective therapy involves active participation and vulnerability, and it’s very normal to feel nervous about opening up in therapy when you first begin. Typically, the initial sessions of therapy are more focused on learning about you and getting to understand the challenges that are bringing you in. You’ll also complete a “treatment plan” that helps to lay out more specific goals for your therapy, and after this you begin the kinds of sessions most people picture when they think of therapy.

A therapist’s role is less about providing prescribed answers to any given question and more about helping you find your own answers to the questions that come up in life. It’s also important to communicate with your therapist about what kind of growth you’re looking for in therapy, and to let your therapist know when you feel like something isn’t quite working for you. All the while, you and your therapist will be building a therapy relationship on your healing journey.