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What to expect at your first session with your psychologist

We will probably offer you a coffee...

Your Psychologist will ask you about your symptoms

In order to help, your psychologist (either Kelly or Leia), will need to learn a lot about you. This ‘getting to know you’ will generally be the focus of your first session, and the paperwork you fill out beforehand. In order to do this, you may be asked about:

– your problems or symptoms,
– when they started,
– what makes them better or worse,
– what impact that they have had on your life,
– your social supports,
– ways you have tried to cope.

It may feel like you are telling a story, with questions asked mainly to clarify details and to make sure we have enough details to start helping you work on things from your second session.

If your situation is more complex i.e. when a diagnosis or a report is required your psychologist may need to ask a lot of questions and relevant assessment tools (mostly questionnaires).

Your Psychologist will ask you about your background

In this case your psychologist will also ask a range of questions about other factors that are likely to impact on these issues, or the treatments that may be suitable for you. Depending on what is happening your psychologist may ask for you to describe experiences such as your
– childhood;
– schooling;
– work history;
– health;
– significant relationships; and
– major events in your past.

Why Psychologists ask these things

So why are these things important? People are complex and there are many things that influence our personality, coping styles, thinking and behaviour.  The questions your psychologists asks will help them understand you and your challenges better.

Getting to know you will take time! Your psychologist’s understanding of you will grow over the course of your treatment. They will likely continue to ask you for more information about your experiences as well as how you think, feel and behave in every session you attend.

How you should feel in your session

Any psychologist that you work with should make you feel heard, respected and understood. It is really important that you feel like they ‘get’ you and what you are going through.

If you ever have questions about why you are being asked certain questions, ask for clarification. We should be able to explain why different information is useful or important in understanding you or your symptoms.

Developing a plan for moving forward

When your psychologist has a working understanding of your concerns, this is called a ‘formulation’. Leia and Kelly like to build their formulations collaboratively with their clients. They will also discuss what types of treatment they think might be helpful and how many sessions it might take to help you achieve meaningful change. With this information you will get to decide how you would like to progress with your treatment.

If Leia or Kelly do not have the skills or experience to assist you, they will let you know – and can provide you recommendations on what to look for in another psychologist.

What Next?

If you are ready to book your first session with either Kelly or Leia then hit their booking link at the top of the page to find some appointments that suit you. If you need more information send us an enquiry via our contact form.

Think that someone else would benefit from reading this? Click the link below to download a PDF version of this article for sharing.

What to Expect From Your First Session - Downloadable

What To Expect At Your First Session PDF 

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