You’re starting your first time in therapy, and want to know what to expect. You may have been curious about the process for a while, but unsure of what exactly happens in session. Lately, some issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, or relationships have been affecting you. It’s time for you to sit down and address them with a mental health professional.


A crucial part about starting therapy is ensuring that you’re working with someone who is the right fit. This could be if they specialize in what you’re looking to address, or you feel that they give off a safe presence. It can be uncomfortable opening up to a stranger about our deepest insecurities, feelings, or worries.


However, therapy can be extremely beneficial to your quality of life when it’s done effectively. You also play a role in how effective your therapeutic process will be, based upon a few factors. Working with a therapist that’s non-judgmental, competent, and compassionate positions you to make great progress towards your goals!


The first point for what you can expect, is that the process cannot be rushed. Next, consistency is key to progress. Finally, you’re in the driver’s seat! You get to decide what pace you move at in opening up. Therapy near Moorpark, CA pairs you with a licensed professional. Make sure to read our blog on How to Find the Best Fit Therapist. 


First Time in Therapy: What to Expect – The process cannot be rushed

a photo of two people running after they had marriage counseling in simi valley, ca

When you’re starting therapy, it’s important to know an expected timeline. Oftentimes, people may want to hold just one therapy session, to address one issue and gain some insight. It’s thought that since the therapist is experienced in a range of issues, they’ll be able to provide their professional opinion. However, this is not how therapy works. 


Your therapist, while being experienced in many situations, is actually not able to give their two cents. The purpose of therapy is to prompt you to look inwards, as they guide a conversation towards helping you make decisions. Therapists will redirect your questions back to you, to discuss your feelings, how your past or present contributes to your perspective, and more. 


Therefore, the process cannot be rushed. It’s unlikely that what you’re looking to address will be resolved within a handful of sessions. It takes time for therapists to get to know you as an individual, understanding all the factors that contributed to shaping you. They’ll need to understand family history, relationships, your childhood, self-awareness, culture, identity, and more!


So, if you’re looking for one couples therapy session to try to prove a point to your partner – that won’t be the case. It’s important to go into this process open-minded and having a self-motivated desire to grow and work on yourself. This makes therapy most effective and an experience that you’ll be looking forward to returning to.


Therapy in Simi Valley, CA offers in-person therapy or virtual therapy in California. Make sure to read our blog on How Therapy is an Investment.


First Time in Therapy: What to Expect – Consistency is key to progress

a graph representing the progress that can be made in therapy in simi valley

It’s recommended that when you’re starting therapy, whether for the first time or re-starting, that you come on a consistent basis. This means that you’re coming weekly, at the same time and day. By doing this, you’re really getting the ball rolling in having your therapist begin to deeply get to know you and your situation.


If you find yourself really struggling with symptoms, it’s important to remain consistent in coming to session. Receiving consistent support from your therapist helps you begin your journey into independently coping and managing symptoms. It can feel overwhelming to think about jumping into this process and incorporating it into your regular schedule.


It’s understandable that you may want to start at a slower pace due to feeling overwhelmed. Therapy is a new addition to your life, and at times, you may go back and forth on the necessity of it. Aim to attend least the first 8 sessions weekly, and you can discuss frequency from there. It is ultimately based upon what is appropriate for your situation. 


An important factor in therapy for trauma, however, is that you do move at a slow pace in opening up. You spend more time building rapport in the beginning, and establishing safety and stabilization. Read more about How to Process Trauma with a therapist, here. 


Being in therapy consistently provides you with opportunities to reflect on your progress being made outside of session. You may experience some setbacks, as well as milestones. It’s good to have your therapist there for support to guide you and acknowledge them when they occur. 


Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA recognizes the progress you’re making towards your goals!


First Time in Therapy: What to Expect – You’re in the driver’s seat

a funny photo of a dog driving to serve as a metaphor for how you are in therapy in simi valley, ca

It may feel a bit awkward opening up about sensitive details in the beginning. You may have a natural hesitance, due to fearing judgment, feeling shame around your issues, or more. It could be that you’re not sure what type of therapeutic approach would be best for you. Or, based on past experiences, you know what works best for you. 


Your therapist is experienced in “reading the room”. They will spend the first few sessions working to understand you, your feelings, your needs, your situation, and more. Alongside this, they’ll be looking to understand how they can prompt you to be insightful or communicative. They’ll understand what’s effective, in terms of questions they ask you, statements they make, and more. 


While therapists actively listen, they’re also constantly thinking of ways to converse with you. Therapists are not able to tell you what decision to make, for example. It’s important that they’re careful with their language, so as to avoid making discoveries for you. They want you to take credit for the progress you’re making in therapy, and be able to recognize that on your own.


Expressing feedback to your therapist will be crucial to avoid misunderstandings or ineffective methods. Perhaps they aim to do inner child work with you, and give you some exercises to complete. However, you feel that it doesn’t resonate with you, and is just not very helpful. You can tell your therapist what is and what is not working for you in session. This helps you two collaborate to work towards what’s most effective and productive. 


Starting therapy for the first time, or resuming after a while, can feel intimidating. However, when you connect with the best fit group, you can feel assured that you’ll be taken care of. 


In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you. Another great blog to read is ours on if you need Therapy or Medication to address your issues.


By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either. By clicking here, you’ll read our blog on Information About Simi Valley Therapists.


Consider calling our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation on how you or a loved one can get started today!


Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide trauma therapy, teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.


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