How Should You Feel After Meeting a Therapist for the First Time?

Posted By: on December 06, 2014
Meeting a therapist for the first time

As I read this week’s entry from Marie, it struck me how gut-wrenching the process of choosing a new therapist can be.

Here’s how she described it:

“The emotions have been pretty intense throughout this process of ending things with my previous therapist and beginning things with a new therapist. I have been binge eating pretty heavily.”

Marie took a chance on me as her therapist in part because she understood my skills and training as a therapist. 

More important, however, was how she felt while talking to me.

How You Should Feel After Meeting a Therapist

This side of the process—the emotional turmoil—is every bit as important as checking the credentials and degrees a therapist has on his or her wall.

At Heart-Centered Counseling, when you talk with any of our therapists, we believe you should feel:

1. Cared for
2. Safe
3. Not judged
4. Understood
5. Supported
6. Hopeful
7. Confident the therapist can handle you, your needs, and the conversations you’ll need to have together.

I’ve been working as a therapist for some 15 to 17 years, depending on how you count. I’ve been actively working with clients for the past 13 years. 

I have multiple accreditations. In the U.S. I got the book-based understanding of therapy. In Europe I went through intense training during an apprenticeship-based program for Integrative psychotherapy.

As a group, the therapists at Heart-Centered Counseling have over 100 years of experience working with clients. Stephanie even ran the entire wing of a mental health agency.

But you know what?

None of that stuff matters if we don’t first care for your heart.

That’s why we call our practice Heart-Centered Counseling. Our therapists care. They emanate a care and support that comes from a place of genuine compassion for the people we work with every day.

I interviewed each of our therapists when we were forming the group. And I did spend some time looking over their credentials, education, and experience.

But most of all, I was looking for people who listen with an open heart as their core approach to caring for our clients.

The Process Can Be Scary

When you first meet with a therapist, it will probably be scary. It takes courage to seek out help, especially for issues you might not have shared with anyone else, ever.

During that first session with a new therapist, when you’re trying to decide if this is the right person for you, pay very close attention to how you feel.

Do you feel safe, secure, and cared for? Does the person sitting across from you seem to have a big heart? One that is clearly focused on helping you get well?

If so, you’re probably in a good place.

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