What to expect at your first appointment
You may feel quite nervous about your first appointment, don’t worry, this is completely normal! It might therefore be helpful for you to know what to expect in your appointment with a clinical psychologist.
At your first appointment we will have a chat about what has brought you to seek therapy, what your current difficulties are, what has been happening in your life recently and also what has happened in the past. We will think about what is keeping your difficulties going, explore your current strengths and resources and think about your goals for therapy. These discussions will help us both build up a picture of your life (called a 'psychological formulation') and this will help us to understand how your past is linked to your present. This process of developing a psychological formulation may sometimes take a few sessions but it is an important first step so we can get a clearer picture and it will help us to figure out what your goals are and what therapeutic approaches may help you best.
Therapy is very much a collaborative, two way process so we will think about how we can best work together within a safe, trusting therapeutic relationship to help you best meet your goals.
The first appointment will also allow you see if you think we can work together and if I’m the right therapist for you. It has been shown that the therapeutic relationship is a significant factor in getting better in therapy so it’s important you feel that we have a good ‘therapeutic fit’.
At your first appointment you will also be asked to fill out a form which has basic contact information and therapy terms and conditions. These terms and conditions can be emailed to you prior to your first appointment so you can have a read over them and ask any questions. All data will be stored confidentially and securely, you can find out further information regarding data collection and storage here.
Everything that we discuss will be kept confidential unless I believe that there is a significant risk of harm to yourself or that other people may be at risk of harm. Confidentiality would be discussed fully at our first appointment together.