What to Expect on Your First Therapy Session

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

The below text is reposted from Massachusetts Government, click here for the full article.

Mental health is a vital part of a balanced and healthy life. Seeking care is the first step to feeling better, but some people may feel anxious if they have never visited a mental health care provider before.

On your first visit, a mental health professional may ask you to talk about what motivated you to seek assistance. Are you having trouble with a relationship? Are you feeling worried, anxious or depressed? Are you having physical symptoms, such as dizziness or insomnia? Or, are you interested in long-term psychotherapy to learn more about yourself?

By listening to your response, the practitioner should determine if they are the right person to help you. In some cases, a different type of care provider would be more beneficial to you, or you might find group therapy to be useful.


  • Be prepared to talk about yourself, but remember that the mental health care provider is there to help you and may ask questions about your family, social, and medical history to guide the discussion.

  • During your first visit, your mental health professional should also explain their fees and rules regarding confidentiality.

Therapy may be short-term (four to ten sessions) or long-term (six months or longer) depending on the problem being addressed and the treatment approach.

Read more tips from Mass Gov here.

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