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How to Get Ready for Your First Therapy Consultation?

We’ll help you make the most of treatment, from scheduling advice to clothing recommendations.

A person was talking animatedly to a therapist who was seated across from them in a chair in a well-lit room while sitting in a comfy chair.

You can get expert assistance for some of your problems through counseling. Therapy has many scientifically established advantages, whether you’re recovering from trauma, battling a substance use disorder, dealing with mental health problems, or just looking for inspiration to change.

Therapy can teach you how to express yourself, deal with challenging emotions, and use evidence-based coping mechanisms to navigate the source of your problems.

Some people appreciate the intimate nature of in-person counseling. You might prefer the convenience of online counseling in some circumstances. Check out the following advice to help you make the most of your first consultation whether you’re thinking about in-person or online counseling through a reputable platform like better help.

The Connection Between Anger and Anxiety:

Imagine being anxious, concerned, and worried the majority of the time, or becoming so fixated on a certain perceived threat that it makes you feel paralyzed with fear. It makes sense that you would get annoyed, irritable, and even furious if you were always under stress. This is a very serious consequence for people with anxiety disorders, both adults and children. In reality, rage can develop from anxiety if it is not recognized and managed.

What Causes Anger?

Anger is frequently the result of witnessing or being the victim of a real or perceived injustice. Your mood simply explodes in response to a person or event that irritates or annoys you, especially if that person appears to be to blame. However, underlying emotions can also cause anger. For example, profound sadness or guilt, as well as fear and anxiety, can lead to anger. Goals that are blocked can elicit rage, especially if the block appears to be unnecessary, unjustified, or avoidable. The more unnecessary, for example, the greater the potential for rage.

Here are some other possible links between anxiety and anger.

Fight vs Flight:

Anxiety is based on fear, which is widely known to activate the body’s fight or flight response. Rather than fleeing, some anxious people want to fight, which can manifest as anger.

Inability to Speak Up

Anger can be caused by suppressed emotions that a person is unwilling to express or deal with in a relationship. Fear of confrontation may result in avoidance and anxiety.

Irritation Anxiety disorders cause a great deal of irritation, making adults and adolescents more prone to angry outbursts. This is especially true if the person experiencing anxiety believes that others are adding to their stress.

Anger and Anxiety Treatment:

While anger and anxiety do not always go hand in hand, some research suggests that anger may be an indicator of how severe a child’s anxiety is. Take the anxiety quiz to see if your child has an anxiety disorder, but if you’re looking for treatment options, go to Turnaround Anxiety. A psychologist and a licensed professional counselor designed our 10-part treatment program to help treat children and adolescents with anxiety in the comfort of their own homes. To learn more, please contact us or listen to our award-winning audio programs online.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Avoidance:

When we are afraid or anxious, it is usually because there is something potentially dangerous nearby. The strong desire to flee or fight back is essential to living a safe and healthy life.

The ability to recognize and respond appropriately to potential harm/danger was as important to me as anything I ever taught my children. For at least 15 years, I believe 90% of what I said was, “Stop, watch out, don’t touch that, be careful, sharp, fire, electricity, etc.” Please, God, teach my children to recognize dangerous people! Stranger peril! Avoiding potentially harmful people, places, and things is critical for navigating life.

An anxiety “disorder” exploits this very desire to be safe to cause the entire system to go haywire. When anxiety becomes out of control, this powerful built-in warning system that keeps us out of trouble (most of the time) becomes a major part of the problem.

When we mistakenly believe something is more dangerous than it is, the same strong desire to avoid it becomes a problem for three reasons. 1. If we mistakenly believe we must avoid something, it confirms our belief that something is dangerous. 2. When we avoid it, we feel a huge and reinforcing sense of relief that we have “escaped.” 3. We never have the experience of discovering that it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was or that you were able to handle it. This is the cycle that leads to disorder.

So, to summarise, the longer something is avoided, the greater the anxiety when the time comes to confront it. School is a prime example of this. I can’t emphasize how strong the desire to avoid is. If you have an anxious child who is triggered by the school, your child will try everything to avoid it. Here’s the deal. You, too, will. You might find yourself putting it off until the last minute. Nobody wants to prick the bear.

This is why the worst-case scenarios occur from time to time. Everyone is crossing their fingers that anxiety will not appear, but when it does, everyone is frustrated, upset, and left with few options. I have a few ideas that might help a little bit with this.

Pose a Question:

It can be difficult to schedule your first therapy appointment, but it is an important step in your recovery, and it is normal to have questions. Before your first appointment, consider asking some or all of the following questions:

How long have you been a therapist?

How many clients do you have who have issues similar to mine?

What credentials do you have? How frequently do you renew them?

What is your policy on patient confidentiality?

How should I get ready for therapy?

How do you get ready for our meetings?

Are you qualified to prescribe medication as needed?

Be open and truthful:

Honesty is essential for any successful therapy session. When you’re open and honest with your therapist, they’ll be able to accurately assess your situation and make evidence-based recommendations.

Being completely open is not always easy; it frequently necessitates vulnerability. You’ll have to recall unpleasant thoughts, events, and actions. Regardless of how difficult it is, being open with your therapist can promote healthy thought patterns and decisions.

When preparing for your first therapy appointment, keep the following honesty tips in mind

Maintain your integrity:

Recognize past mistakes without letting them define your future.

Remind yourself that lying can cause mistrust, harm relationships, and delay healing.

Consider the kinds of lies or half-truths you’re likely to tell in therapy and catch yourself if you do. In the mirror, practice giving honest answers to potential therapy questions.

If you are aware that you have difficulty maintaining honesty, consider informing your therapist before your first session. Inform them of your struggle with personal vulnerability. Once your therapist understands how difficult it is for you to be open, they can protect the integrity of your conversations by engaging in honest, intentional conversation.

Clear the rest of your commitments:

Therapy, regardless of the type, can be challenging at times. Change, even positive change, necessitates growth, and growth can be painful at times. Expect to need time to reflect and rest after some therapy sessions.

You may want to schedule meetings or other obligations around your therapy appointments if you’re taking time away from work, class, or other daily tasks. However, it is even more critical that you have time to prepare before your first session.

Clear your calendar and get in the right frame of mind. You could listen to soothing music, eat a nutritious meal, go for a walk, or write a letter. Getting into the right frame of mind before therapy is more important than finishing the day’s chores.

After the session, be honest with yourself about how much time you need to reflect. If you need a few hours to process your conversation with a therapist, or if you need the rest of the day to reflect on the day’s events, it’s critical to clear your schedule accordingly.

Decide What You Hope to Achieve Through Therapy:

Decide what you want out of the day’s session before you leave the house for your in-person appointment — or before you turn on your computer for virtual therapy. Make a list of goals and expectations that you want to meet by the end of your therapy session.

Therapy goals should be realistic and concrete to promote personal growth and recovery. Unrealistic goals create doubt and frustration when they are not met; realistic goals, on the other hand, build confidence and aid in long-term recovery.

It’s also critical to keep your objectives as specific as possible. Consider the following objective: “Have a productive therapy session.” Such objectives are admirable, but without specifics, you won’t know when you’ve met them. Create detailed goals with clear objectives instead.

For example, you could make the following goal for your next therapy session: “I will explain my mental health struggles to my therapist before asking if medication could be effective as a therapy supplement.”

Dress Comfortably:

Wear comfortable clothing to your first therapy appointment. Wear something that makes you feel at ease, whether it’s a pair of jeans or a suit jacket.

Wearing formal clothing may make you feel restricted, especially if the meeting requires some level of personal vulnerability. Dress as comfortably as you would in your own home when selecting your wardrobe for your first therapy session. Your therapist does not expect you to arrive in formal attire.

Take it easy on yourself:

It takes guts to sign up for your first therapy session. It means you’re seeking help with one or more aspects of your mental health, such as individual or group therapy, psychoanalysis, or medication-assisted treatment. Don’t forget to be gentle with yourself after you’ve scheduled your first therapy appointment.

Nearly one in every five adults suffers from a mental illness, but many do not seek treatment. If you’ve scheduled your first therapy appointment, you’ve already taken the most difficult step: admitting that you need assistance dealing with the difficulties you’re facing.

Therapy can assist you in taking additional steps toward healing, better health, and a higher quality of life. You’ve made a commendable first step in the right direction.

Make a list of potential talking points:

 

You might want to make a list of talking points in advance of your first therapy appointment. If you have questions or topics you want to discuss with your therapist, making a list of topics to discuss can help you have a productive session.

The topics of discussion will vary depending on your needs and the challenges you face. You could discuss recent events, interpersonal relationships, or the relationship between body image and self-esteem. Whatever your preferred topics of conversation are, a list of talking points will help you stay on track once your first appointment begins.

Change takes time:

Therapy can help you address past trauma, foster positive relationships, and improve your physical health over time. Even if you have a fruitful first therapy session, all change takes time.

Therapy usually does not produce immediate results, but you will notice significant changes in the way you communicate and perceive the world over time. You can gradually return to the self-confident life you deserve with recurring therapy appointments, positive coping strategies, and any other necessary treatment modalities.

 

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