It all starts with finding a psychologist , but how do you find a good psychologist? It is not always easy to find a good one that you trust. It is a decision that can be difficult. Sometimes it will be an acquaintance who will recommend a specific professional. However, for those who do not have the reliable opinion of someone close, the decision can be a bit more complicated.
Once we have found the psychologist, it’s time to call . We do not know who will answer, if he will pick up the phone or not or if his voice will convey positive feelings. The truth is that there are psychologists who work as a team. Others, on the other hand, attend on their own.
In the first case, when consulting a team of professionals , it is likely that the person in charge of coordinating the work of the different psychologists on the team will pick up the phone. It will be that person who will ask us the availability we have in order to arrange a first session with one of the therapists. You can be referred to the web where some photos and experience of the different psychologists of the team appear in case you have any preference. If so, let’s not hesitate to take a look.
In the event that the person attends on their own , it will be she who makes an appointment based on the available time options. In these cases, it is possible that when we call, the psychologist will not pick up the phone. You will probably be in session, and you will call us back as soon as possible.
The first session with a psychologist
When we get to the psychologist’s office, he will come out to greet us. Perhaps he asks us to wait or greet us indicating that if we think we can stop by to meet. Once inside, there are 5 things that are usually talked about in the first session :
- Once inside the office, generally the psychologist will start the conversation by introducing himself and welcoming us . Every good psychologist tends to take into account that this first moment is complicated and there are usually nerves. Therefore, he will try to create a calm and trusting atmosphere so that we can begin to tell what has brought us to the consultation.
- One way to do this is by introducing ourselves, asking ourselves if we have gotten there safely. Or perhaps, offering us the opportunity that it is he himself who begins to tell us about his way of working.
- This can help reduce initial jitters and make getting started easier. All this is very important, because without a secure environment it will be very difficult to open up. And if we do, we will do it in a somewhat distressing way.
- Therefore, feeling nervous is normal. A nice way to fight it, maybe it is to be able to express it. The psychologist will understand and try to direct the conversation in such a way that we can relax the tension.
Explain what is going to happen throughout the entire process
- Every psychologist is aware that many of the people we consult is the first time we do it. Therefore , it is logical and normal that many of us do not know what is done in therapy , beyond what is heard or seen somewhere.
- Therefore, in the first session we believe that it is important that at the end we are aware of what is going to happen at all times. And what will happen?
- Right from the beginning, the psychologist will suggest that the first session is a contact so that we can get to know each other . In addition to exploring the specific problem. He will also explain that there will be between 4 and 5 sessions to assess the case and propose a treatment plan. Therefore, this time will be very useful both for the therapist and for us in order to know if we start a journey together.
- Finally, special emphasis will be placed on talking about confidentiality and its limits set out in the code of ethics. You will guarantee that you will not reveal anything about us, except in cases where our life or that of someone linked is in danger.
Talk about the reason for the consultation
- The reason for consultation is the part on which the first interview will revolve the longest. The psychologist will try to make a map of what happens to us. Some of the questions you frequently ask us about are:
- Time of onset of the problem or symptoms.
- Factors that we consider to have precipitated its appearance.
- What our life was like at that time.
- If there have been periods where the problem has remitted or has worsened.
- Times of the day or week where we suffer the most from the problem.
- Things that help us cope.
- Resources we have to face the problem.
- How the problem affects us.
- The explanation that we consider why all this happens to us.
- The expectations we have regarding the treatment.
Explore other aspects of the person’s life
- It is also common for the psychologist to inquire about our life in general , both present and past. Sometimes this may seem unnecessary. As if it had nothing to do with what happens to us.
- However, it does so because it needs to make a global image of ourselves and our life. Let’s not worry, he is trying to gather information. Although a priori it may seem that it has no relation to what happens to us.
- Some of the questions you may ask about are:
- Sociodemographic data.
- Medical history.
- Evolutionary history.
- Environment in which we have grown up.
- Important milestones in our life.
- Difficult times gone by.
- Friends and leisure.
- History of past relationships.
Explanation of the relationship conditions
- Finally, it only remains to talk about the conditions of the relationship . Generally, the psychologist usually talks about it at the end of the first session. However, there are psychologists who prefer to do it at the beginning.
- In this part of the interview, some of the questions that the psychologist will tell us revolve around the following aspects:
- Sessions periodicity.
- Price of the same.
- Ways to communicate in between sessions.
- Cancellation and / or session change policy.
In working with children, what happens in the first session varies a little more than in the case of adults . There are professionals who see parents first in a session. Others who work at the family level and, therefore, will bring all the members of the family together from the first session. Others start by gathering us all together, and then leave some time alone with the child to get to know each other better.
This variability depends on the age of the child, the difficulties for which they consult and the way the psychologist works. However, there are things that are always similar beyond the differences.