What to expect
People who have not been in psychotherapy are often apprehensive and do not know what to expect or what they are "supposed to do." Hopefully the next few paragraphs can ease some of that anxiety. (Author: Nancy McWilliams, PhD.)
I typically spend the first session trying to get a sense of what brought you in and some background. At some point, perhaps the second session, I will get a detailed history. From there on, I follow your lead. It is best if you can come in and talk as freely as possible about any aspect of anything that is on your mind. I will listen to the more emotional side of it and see what I can say that might shed more light on what you are talking about. For a while I will probably be pretty quiet, as I try to catch up with your own understanding of the problem. The most important thing to keep in mind is to try to be as open and honest as you can.
After the first session or so, we can each decide if we feel we will be comfortable with each other and if we feel we are able to work with each other.
If you are not comfortable with me for any reason, we may want to talk about why that is the case. Feel free to talk at any point how the process is going and whether you feel I am being helpful or not. If appropriate, I could refer you to another therapist.