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The First Session

As I've mentioned once or twice, finding a therapist can be challenging and confusing. Still, one of the largest hurdles for some people isn't the process itself, it's the thought of having to sit down with someone and "explain" everything. "I don't know where to begin" is a sentence I hear a lot in the first session. From those coming from a prior therapist, I also hear "I feel like I have to start over." Additionally, understandably, many people are uncomfortable sharing a lot about themselves with a new therapist, because, at the end of the day, a new therapist is typically still a complete stranger.

So, what can be done to overcome this hurdle of building a new relationship with someone?

First, go at your own pace. If something is important, I trust that my clients will let me know about it eventually and when they are ready.

Second, keep in mind that many people find meeting a new person, even a therapist, stressful. It's not strange to feel that way; it's perfectly natural. When meeting with a new client, I really understand that first meetings may feel awkward in some way, and I work hard to help my clients feel as comfortable possible.

And, third, it's OK to talk about the challenge of talking about things. It's OK to say to a new therapist, "There's other stuff I want to talk about, but I don't think I'm ready for it yet." I may be curious about why that's the case, but I never ask new clients to talk about something they do not want to talk about.

Thinking about what it might be like to have a first session? Give me call at 484-222-6436 or e-mail at, and I am happy to think more about it with you.

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