Healthy Living

How to Prepare for Psychotherapy

How to Prepare for Psychotherapy

Key Takeaways

  • Do plenty of research about the treatment before going for one.
  • Whether you are not sure about therapy or if you're only going because of someone's suggestion, give it a try.
  • You should desire to have a realistic therapy outcome.

Understanding Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a form of treatment that is collaborative in nature. It is based on the relationship between a patient and a psychotherapist or simply a psychologist. This type of therapy provides an environment that allows you to openly and honestly communicate your issues. The person who you decide to share whatever is affecting you will be non-judgmental, truthful, supportive, and objective. Together with your psychologist, you will do tasks that will assist in changing the thoughts and behavioral patterns that are inhibiting you from becoming the best that you can be.

Psychotherapy can help you achieve various things, which include coming to terms with your illness, how to cope with stress, defining and reaching your goals, coming up with a plan that will assist you during crises, how you can go about the things that bother you, overcoming your insecurities and fears, and leading a happy satisfactory life.

Preparing for Psychotherapy

Making that first appointment

Contacting a psychotherapist or psychologist can sometimes make you feel nervous, which is just normal. Overcoming your anxiety and making that important call is crucial. Seeking for therapy is the first step to empowering yourself on the road to making you feel better again. Planning for the call and adhering to your plan will bring some relief and put you in the right direction. Reaching out is usually a difficult task; even psychologists acknowledge how hard it is. It quite difficult since it is the initial and one of the most important steps in the process. When you accept that you need help and make the step to seek it, positive outcomes can be guaranteed because you are not being pushed into it.

When you decide to call, leave your information and the reason as to why you are calling. When you get a reply, it will indicate whether or not the problem can be handled. Furthermore, you will be told the date, if an appointment is to occur and the location.

What should you consider before the appointment?

You will be asked to set a schedule that you think best suits you. Think of the day and time in which you can go for the appointment. The factors to consider include:

  • Time of the day - You should be in a position to establish what day and time best suit you. Some patients will prefer a Wednesday afternoon session, while others would want to go first on a Monday. The thing is, you have to set a schedule accordingly.
  • Family responsibilities - If you have children, come up with a schedule that will also ensure that you don’t forget your parenting responsibilities. It is a bad idea to bring them to therapy unless they are also participating.
  • Your job - If there will be a conflict with your work schedule, inform the human resources of your plan in taking therapy sessions. You may then be given a sick leave during that therapy session hour. You might schedule your first appoint later in the evening, so you don’t have to go back the same day. Doing so may relax you more after the therapy.
  • Commitments - If you will be having other appointments other than the therapy, ensure to properly schedule your time so that there is no conflict. You might become distracted if you come in late or keep worrying about being late for your other appointment.

How will you prepare for the appointment?

You will ask your psychologist about the ways you can prepare for the session, once he accepts to discuss your problem. You will be expected carry out the following to prepare for the meeting:

1. Check Insurance Cover

You will be required to find out your health insurance coverage as an outpatient. Call your insurer and inquire on the same. Moreover, know whether you have a deductible. If the details cannot be acquired in time, you will be asked to come for the appointment earlier than scheduled for him to assist you in verifying your health benefits.

2. Fill out a new patient paperwork

The psychologist will need you to fill out a new patient paperwork. You can download the filling forms from the psychologist’s website and fill them out before the appointment. If you can’t access the site, you can ask him to give you the forms to fill out at home, rather than filling them in the waiting room. You will also be informed of other materials that will be dealt with confidentiality and cancellation fees, among others.

3. Prepare questions

Have a list of questions that you will ask the psychologist such as the length of the therapy, books to read that may be useful to your problems, and medication, among others.

4. Do research on therapy

Do plenty of research about the treatment before going for one. If you know people who had previously undergone through therapy, ask them about the experience. You can go online or read books on the same and try to find out how the problems have been handled, and know what to expect during and after therapy. If you are doing the therapy for the second time, try to ask yourself about what you didn’t like or might have liked about the approach your former therapist used.

5. Always have an open mind

Whether you're not sure about therapy or if you're only going because of someone's suggestion, just give it a try. Be honest and open up about yourself for it will be a chance for you to learn more about yourself.

6. Know the location

If it is your first time visiting the therapist, ensure that you have located the address. You can also search for directions to his office using a map search.

7. Like your therapist even before therapy begins

Since you will be sharing confidential information, not being in a position to like your therapist will prevent you from opening up to him or her about your concerns. Furthermore, how you respond to therapy will depend if you like your therapist or not.

8. Be willing to work

What most patients don’t understand is that therapy takes a lot of work from both parties to achieve the desired goals. Going to therapy is not the primary issue, but rather what you will do during the therapy and the outcome that will be reflected after the therapy. You have to be ready to be open up just about everything if you are to be assisted. Your experiences, no matter how embarrassing they are, should be laid out truthfully. Your past experiences, goals, and future concerns should be communicated with utmost honesty. 

9. Have a clear goal

You should desire to have a realistic outcome for therapy. Never expect the therapist to overwhelm you as that is not his or her job. The therapist is there to help you. You should, therefore, have a feeling of what you want and how you are willing to work to achieving it. Having clear goals such as how you can manage your stress levels, saving your marriage, and dealing with your sexuality are some of the reasonable goals.