Are You Thinking About Getting Help for your Mental Health?
This article and its contents are not meant to replace crisis intervention for individuals who are experiencing an immediate mental health crisis and/or suicidal thoughts.
If you’re thinking about starting therapy, you’re not alone! Especially since the beginning of the pandemic, more and more people have at least considered or have accessed mental health services whether it has been through connecting on a crisis line to receive counseling or attending a first session with a therapist or counselor online.
There are no bad reasons to begin therapy. One common myth is that if you’re going to therapy you have a mental illness. This is not true! Anyone of any background and age can access therapy for a variety of reasons:
Overwhelming feelings of sadness, loneliness, lack of motivation, lack of concentration, stress, social anxiety, relationship issues – with either family, a romantic partner, or friends, bullying/cyber bullying (victim or perpetrator), self-harm, exploring existential thoughts, exploring spirituality, trauma, self-improvement, increasing self-awareness, or living with a disability.
Here is what you can expect when you make that first call. The decision to see a therapist is an important one and it is entirely up to you when you are ready. One great way that potential patients begin to connect is through attending a free virtual 20 minute consultation. During this session you can ask questions and we can get to know each other a little bit. Others who may be familiar with therapy and are more certain that they would like to begin therapy usually call or use the website to book a session.
What Does a Session Look Like?
If you have never done therapy before, here are how sessions work. When it comes to our time together, you’re in the driver’s seat. What this means is that as your therapist, I will not give you solutions, advice, or tell you what to do in any way. When I practice therapy, I use what is called a ‘client-centered approach’. What this means is that I take the lead of my patient in terms of deciding the goals that we will agree on for our time together. These goals can be changed at any time you want throughout therapy. You are welcome to talk about any issues you would like us to focus on either short-term or long-term. Sometimes you may come to a session and you want to talk about a recent event that happened since our previous session (for instance, maybe it was something traumatic, or something that you can’t get off your mind that you’d like to talk about). I will also check in with you to make sure that we are always working on the goals that you want to work on. If at any point you don’t feel comfortable talking to me about a certain thought or experience, that’s definitely okay. I will not push you to talk about anything that you’re not comfortable sharing.
What if I Don’t ‘Fit with my Therapist’?
This is another important question you may be asking yourself. The rapport between a therapist and a patient ideally would be one where the patient feels safe and comfortable sharing their thoughts, experiences, and emotions without feeling judged. The conversation between you and your therapist ideally feels organic. It’s okay to feel a bit nervous in your first session. However, it is okay if it doesn’t always feel this way, especially in the first couple of sessions. Openness and honesty with your therapist is deeply appreciated, so if you feel as though you are not benefiting from the therapy, or are not feeling comfortable, or any other issue, you can let your therapist know. They will work on solutions with you to address this. In some cases, an issue may come up while you are seeing your therapist and it may be out of the range of competence for them. If this were to happen, your therapist may refer you to another professional who possesses the competence necessary to support you. They will look out for you and your mental health.
Some psychotherapists, such as myself, have a specialized patient demographic that they take on. I specialize in working individually with preteens (aged 9-10), and teenagers. But I also offer services for adults.
Sophia Sammy, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
Book an appointment with me by clicking here.
IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY IN IMMEDIATE CRISIS AND/OR ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING SUICIDAL THOUGHTS OR INTENTIONS, CALL 911 OR A CRISIS LINE IMMEDIATELY. THIS ARTICLE IS NOT MEANT TO REPLACE CRISIS INTERVENTION OR EMERGENCY INTERVENTION.
COAST Hamilton – 1-844-972-8338 or 905-529-7878
Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868