What happens in a session with a Clinical Psychologist?

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For some individuals attending a session with a Psychologist can be daunting. Perhaps you feel by going to a Psychologist that there is  something wrong with you, that you are broken in some way and there is a feeling of shame attached to making this first step.  Perhaps the Psychologist will think your crazy and judge you in some way. Or that based on what you see on T.V you expect that you will be forced/coerced to talk about things that upset you and your going to come out of the session feeling worse than when you went in. Or perhaps you feel that nothing is really going to change by talking with a Psychologist (how can talking help treat my depression?)or this is just the way things are going to be and there is nothing that can change it. Let me assure you that at IPS, if these, or something like these, are your concerns for not attending therapy, you will be pleasantly surprised by how wrong you are by attending a session at IPS. 

Many people find it hard to make that first appointment for some of the above fears. So when they come into sessions they are nervous and dont know what to expect. These harmful thoughts bring about years of discomfort and suffering that restrict life goals, relationships and general fulfillment and happiness. I hope the following information will be of use to those people who prevent themselves from being in therapy due to these thoughts.

1)  At your first appointment you will be met at the reception by you Psychologist who will introduce themselves and walk with you back to the room. They will go over the material that you filled out in the reception area and then invite you to tell them your story. Essentially what your concern is that has brought you to make the appointment. This information is received by the Psychologist as confidential and without judgement of any kind. You will be guided through this process so that the information that you provide will help to inform the treatment approach that the Psychologist will employ to get you to your goals for coming into therapy. It is possible that all you have as a goal is just to feel better.  At the conclusion of your first session, the Psychologist will outline a treatment approach/plan for you to consider and how to move forward with this plan. 

2)  Therapy is not something you do to people but with people. Because of this, take time before each session to think about what you would like to discuss with the Psychologist. This way you are an active collaborator in your therapy and not a passive recipient.  However, there is no need to feel pressured to have something to discuss in your sessions as the Psychologist will guide you through the process according to the treatment plan that was developed in the first session.  This can always be changed as new and more pressing issues arise. 

3)  Arrive to your sessions a little early. The stress of running late will build on the nervousness about attending the sessions and not have you at your best emotionally when you are in your sessions.

4) Have you ever had the experience of feeling understood, able to say whatever is on your mind without being judged, express your darkest thought without the fear that it will get back to people you love, respect, care about and who have some influence in job promotion, or rejected because your thoughts aren't in line with those of others? A therapy session with a Psychologist provides you with an opportunity to experience all these things while making sense of how they impact your life and the goals you have for your life that always seem out of reach.

5)  Therapy can be an emotionally draining experience. It is important to respect that during your emotional healing you may not be on top of your game at home or work after a session. So it is suggested that you give yourself an "emotional buffer" period after your sessions to centre yourself before moving into the next part of your day. 

Being in therapy can be an emotionally rewarding and life changing experience. Hopefully this articule has addressed some of your concerns associated with making an appointment with a Psychologist at IPS.  I hope this has been helpful and if you are now ready for that next step, please make an appointment by clicking on the Book Now button at the top right of this screen or look through some of the other pages on this site that might help you get some idea of how to treat whatever your mental health concern might be.