What to Expect During Your First Online Therapy Session
So you’ve been thinking about the whole online therapy thing, but you’re wondering what to expect and how it works. My name is Nicolette Lee, LCSW and I am a therapist in the Elevate Therapy network. I’m here to walk you through four things to expect during your first session and supply you with the tools you need to feel safe and comfortable as you embark on this new, exciting chapter of your mental health journey.
To start, you and your therapist will take a moment to introduce yourselves. Your therapist will ask you for your full name and the address of your current location. This is something we are required by law to ask at every session, so that if you have an emergency we can can get help to you as soon as possible. You’ll get used to this as you have more sessions!
2. Legal Matters
After introductions, your therapist has to get a few more legal things out of the way. They will inform you about the potential risks and limitations of receiving treatment by telehealth. Telehealth means getting health care, including therapy, through the phone or internet. Telehealth is more suited for some diagnoses and situations than others, and this review will ensure you’re getting the kind of service that is best suited for your needs.Your therapist will also provide their license number and type of license, which could be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), like me, or a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), or another type of provider.
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Along with the legal stuff, your therapist will review the “limits to confidentiality,” which is a fancy way of saying that they will keep everything you discuss private with the exception of a few rare circumstances. Don’t worry, they will go over what those circumstances are before moving forward. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure you are safe, your information is protected and that you understand the process.
4. Goals and Intentions
Your therapist will then dive into reviewing some of the paperwork you signed, such as intake and consent forms. This generally leads to getting to know more about you and what brings you to therapy. They will discuss your goals or intentions for therapy and make sure you both are on the same page. Remember, your therapist can never guarantee therapy will make your situation better, but they can provide a safe place for you to express yourself and work on the things you’d like to improve in your life, relationships, work and more.
Investing in your mental health and hiring a therapist can be quite intimidating at first. People wonder if their therapist will judge them or be turned off by all that they have going on inside. But in reality, your therapist is simply someone who is invested in you and wants to help you grow using a variety of tools. There is so much to be gained from taking the small step of scheduling your first session. If you’re reading this, you’re halfway there already.
Myself and the rest of the Elevate team wish you the absolute best on your journey towards wellness. See you in therapy!
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