Meeting with a psychologist for the first time can be daunting for a lot of people. In this article, I aim to describe what typically happens during a first intake session with the hope that this may help you know what to expect and feel more at ease.
Before the First Therapy (Intake) Session
Before the first session, you will receive an information and consent form via the Jane platform (my online booking system). This form outlines information on my services, such as my cancellation policy, method for payment, and limits to confidentiality. If you have any questions about the information in this form, you can contact me by phone or email prior to our meeting or we can discuss any information verbally during our meeting.
You’ll also be asked to complete a short intake form which includes personal details and an emergency contact’s information. In this form, you’ll be asked to describe information such as the main reason for you seeking services, what strategies you have tried so far to address your concern(s), and what changes you’d like to make in your life.
During The First Therapy (Intake) Session
The aim of the intake session is for us to get to know each other and for me to understand what concerns made you reach out and what you hope to gain from therapy.
The first session differs from other sessions as I try to get a good understanding of your situation and determine how I can help you move forward. The intake session starts by going over confidentiality information and limits to confidentiality. I then ask questions which will help me get a good understanding of your concerns, your life circumstances and personal history, and what you hope to gain from therapy.
Before we end, we’ll discuss next steps and collaborate on goals and a treatment plan together, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions. If, for whatever reason, I feel that I may not be the best person to help you, I will do my best to refer you to a colleague within the community who may be better suited to help you.
After The First (Intake) Session
At the end of our first session, we’ll discuss next steps and we may schedule further sessions. In the following sessions, we’ll start addressing your concerns and the therapeutic work will begin. The frequency of sessions and length of treatment can vary based on individuals needs and this is something we can discuss at the end of our first meeting.