903 Forest Street, Georgetown, TX 78626

Your First Therapy Session


Any new experience may set your heart aflutter and give you the cold sweats, therapy is no exception.  It’s normal to have a stress response when doing something new or different. You will get through this, just like you’ve gotten through other new, different experiences in your life.  Remember when you started a new school or a new grade?  Remember all the new teachers you’ve met in your life so far?  While therapy is a different experience than those things, there are a lot of transferable skills you’ve already learned, which will help you during your first therapy session.  Your parent will also be there for the first part of the session to introduce themselves and talk about what they hope you get out of therapy.

Introduce Yourself

Remember last year, when you started a new grade and you had to introduce yourself to the teacher?  Do the same thing with your therapist.  Shake hands, bump elbows, tap toes or whatever greeting you’re comfortable with.  Make eye contact and say, “Hi, I’m … [INSERT NAME HERE].”  Hopefully your therapist will have modeled how to do this by introducing themselves first!  

Make Your Body Comfortable

You’ll be sitting for the next little bit during your session, so take a few moments to get yourself situated.  Yes, it can feel unnerving to have a stranger sitting in the same space as you and having them watch you.  Do it anyway. 

You don’t want your foot falling asleep in the middle of the session or to have sore muscles, because you didn’t want to move through the discomfort of adjusting your body for a few moments until your body felt just right.

Be Prepared for Paperwork

At GTX Teen Therapy, all “paperwork” is electronic, but during the first session, I review what you signed online and what you’re agreeing to when you start treatment.  I want to give you the opportunity to ask questions, to learn how the therapeutic relationship is different from relationships you have with friends or family, talk about when I might have to break our privacy (for safety concerns), how it works when I’m working with you (if you’re under eighteen) and your parent, and let you know about the risks and benefits of therapy, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. 

While it can sometimes seem tedious to talk through all this before we even get started talking about what’s really going on with you, it’s important so we’re on the same page about what will happen and what to expect.  It will also provide you information on what to do if therapy isn’t working and how to file a complaint if you felt like I did something wrong.  The first session, including the paperwork piece, helps you be an informed client, so you can get the most out of your treatment.

Let’s Talk About Goals

Yes, eventually you’ll jump in to talking about what brought you to therapy in the first place.  This is the place where you’ll say more about what’s going on in your life that’s causing you to struggle and what you want for yourself.  [INSERT PROBLEMS HERE!] 

As the therapist, I’ll help guide this conversation, to help you identify areas to work on and get a clear picture of what we’re working toward. 

Sometimes this starts off by looking at what you don’t want: I don’t want to feel so anxious anymore; I don’t want to stay up until 3:00am worrying; I don’t want to get In School Suspension again; etc. 

You may be asked to rate how much of a struggle the issue is for you, like, “On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is totally blissed out and 10 is through the roof anxious, where would you rate yourself right now?”  Doing this type of a rating will help you and your therapist measure over time, if therapy’s working and you’re starting to feel better. 

Don’t feel pressed to give answers though if you really don’t know what to say or how to say what you want. 

Therapy is an ongoing conversation between you and the therapist, and sometimes the process of identifying goals can take the first one, two, or three sessions. 

And the goals are definitely something we’ll talk about over time as you accomplish them, change them, or create new ones.   

Parents: Exit Stage Left

At this point, once we’ve all talked about things together (you, parent, and therapist), I will kindly kick your parents out of the room.  (Yes, I can do this!  Lol) 

If I’m working with you for individual therapy, I have a relationship with you as the client, and also your parent, but in different ways.  I have a relationship with you, because you’re the one talking with me in every session about what may be going on, learning tools to help you, and working through things, so you start to feel better. 

With your parent, I have a relationship, because they’re the person responsible for getting you to and from sessions (if you don’t drive yet), paying for treatment (usually), and have a different perspective on what’s going on with you (as in they may notice things from the outside that you aren’t noticing from yourself on the inside).  I will be checking in with your parent(s) regularly, but not as often as I do with you.  Occasionally your parent(s) and I may meet for a session separate from you or with you.  Those are things we’ll talk about along the way. 

Get to Know Each Other

We’ll talk for a little while, depending on how much time is left for the session.  You may want to share some things you weren’t comfortable sharing in front of a parent.  Or we may talk about what you like to do, what school’s like for you, and about your family.  There’s a lot of “getting to know you” in the beginning, as there is in any new relationship.  


At the end of the session, I’ll stop a few minutes early to ask you a few questions, like how this session was for you, if you feel like you connect with me, and if you want to come back for another session.  This is your chance to say what you think. 

I really, really do want your feedback, because how we get along makes a big difference in what therapy is like and what benefits you get out of therapy. 

If you don’t like me, it’s okay to say so.  I’m happy to help you get connected to someone else who may work better for you, because after all, this treatment is about you and what you need.  You get to be in charge on what’s working and what’s not working.  

Those are the things above, you can expect in your first therapy session.  If you’re reading this and you don’t have a first therapy session scheduled yet, feel free to reach out and call me today.  I can be reached by text or call at  (737) 808-4888 or you can send me a message in my secure contact form.  It’s a big step to reach out for help.  You’re worth it.  When you’re ready to stop feeling like your life is out of control and you’re ready to find more calm, reach out to schedule your first therapy session.    

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