What are the first few sessions of therapy like at Aspire?
When you go to the doctor, you know what to expect--check in, go to the waiting room, the nurse will measure your height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, etc. You wait for the doctor (sometimes for a very long time!) and meet for a short while. The doctor tells you how to make it better, sends you on your way, and you make a follow-up appointment (if necessary) on your way out. Although going to the doctor might not be your favorite place, you know what to expect and there is some comfort in that.
We want to offer some comfort in what to expect when coming to therapy for the first time at Aspire Counseling. It usually starts with a phone call. We like to get to know a little bit about what you would like to work on so we can match you with a therapist (unless you already have one in mind) and then schedule a time that works for both you and your therapist. Your first appointment will be about an hour and a half (it won’t feel that long!). Click here for directions (and pictures of what you are looking for) to your first appointment. Feel free to wait in our lobby if you arrive a few minutes early; your therapist will come find you there at your appointment time and take you to a therapy room. Unlike a doctor’s office, our therapy rooms are set up more like a comfortable living space. We do have couches, but you don’t have to lay down like you might see in cartoons. No hypnotizing either! We use lamps to create warm lighting versus bright fluorescents. Once comfortably seated, you’ll fill out some intake paperwork (if you didn’t already fill it out beforehand) and we’ll ask questions to get to know you better. We will ask about your family, important relationships, school and work history, relationship with drugs and alcohol, and how your current situation developed. You get to choose how much or how little you would like to talk about; your therapist is ready to meet you where you are! Together we start coming up with a plan to reach your goals for therapy. You may feel nervous about this session. Feel free to write down some questions or things you would like to talk about ahead of time to help feel more prepared (this is not a requirement).
On to more technical details...Payment is due at the time of session. Check out our Getting Started page for more information on insurance and paying for your sessions. At the end of your appointment, we will schedule your next session. Some therapists offer standing session times if that works for you. As we value your time and the time of those scheduled after you, you can expect to get out on time. If you need to reschedule, please call us at least 24 hours in advance so we can fill your spot with someone else wanting therapy.
Follow-up sessions usually last 45-60 mins. We usually start with a check-in since last time we saw each other. Some therapists will set mini-goals for you, such as identifying negative thoughts or practicing coping skills, to work on throughout the week. Some people are ready to dive right in and talk about the big stuff while it takes others much longer to warm up and feel comfortable. Your therapist will work with you at your pace. We value honest and open communication between you and your therapist. Our goal is to provide a safe space for you. Progress in therapy will be gradual and will reflect the amount of work you are willing to put in. It takes bravery to take the first step to starting therapy but in the end it will be worth it!!
If you are ready to begin or have any questions, feel free to reach out! We’d love to schedule a time to get started.