7853 E. Arapahoe Ct., Suite 3550
Centennial, CO 80112
First Appointment In The Mental Health Field
first visit is an evaluation session, allowing the counselor to
obtain clinical information and psychosocial history in order to
formulate a diagnosis and a treatment plan. At times a follow-up
session is needed to complete this evaluation. There are many
questions that come to the client's mind relating to therapy. The
following provides clarification on some of these questions and
how to prepare for your first visit.
Types of Therapy
are many types of therapeutic modalities, i.e., cognitive,
behavioral, psychoanalytical, Gestalt, reality, etc. The list is
exhaustive. Therapy is essentially a relationship between the
client and therapist, regardless of the therapist's discipline and
beliefs. As the client, you are responsible for deciding the
ultimate course of action, and whether you feel comfortable with
the treatment modality offered to you by your therapist. Ask your
therapist about their treatment philosophy and the expectations
they have of you for treatment.
What if I Don't
Like the Therapist?
In the event you are not happy with your therapist, you
need to initiate change at the onset of treatment. At times, as
treatment progresses, you may feel uncomfortable or sometimes
angry with your therapist. This is quite normal as you reveal your
thoughts and feelings. Discuss this with your therapist and let it
be part of your counseling visit. It is therapeutic and helps with
the healing process. Do not feel embarrassed or guilty. The issues
that are making you upset could be quite therapeutic. If tension
is highly severe and cannot be resolved, you may want to change
Do I Need to Bring to the First Session?
|You may want to write down notes and make a
list of issues, concerns, and questions. List your
|If you have medical records from other
behavioral or medical clinicians, you may want to bring those
|School records, testing evaluations, and
other material if the client is a child.
|History of problems; when they began and
whether they have occurred in the past.
|List of medications, if any.
|You may want to bring your significant other
with you if they are involved in your treatment.
|When in doubt, or if you feel overwhelmed in
preparing, just come in as you are and let the therapist ask
you the questions. You'll be amazed at the amount of in
depth information your therapist can get on the first visit.
|The main emphasis of the first visit is on
current symptoms and problems. Your past history can be
It is Embarrassing
to Talk to a Stranger!
Consider your counselor as a source of information and
guidance. Treat them the same way you treat your personal
physician. Remember, healthy people do not necessarily lead
trouble-free lives. Healthy people do know when something is wrong
and take the first step to find a solution. Seeing a therapist
does not mean you are a failure or acting crazy. To the contrary -
it is a sign of maturity, not weakness.
What Happens During
the First Session?
The counselor asks you specific questions regarding
symptoms, onset, and etiologies. They will obtain a social
history, summarize what you talked about, establish a treatment
plan, and recommend a course of action. If more time is needed, a
follow-up session is scheduled to obtain more information and the
counselor will either schedule future appointments to continue
treatment, or refer you to another therapist. When you first come
in, prior to the beginning of your session, you will complete
forms and sign the consent for treatment. There are forms that
must be completed and the Consent for Treatment must be signed for
you or your dependent. If the patient is a minor, the legal
guardian needs to sign the Consent for Treatment. Bring with you
legal documents showing proof of guardianship.
If you have any further questions
first appointment in the mental health field please contact us by calling LSBI at (888)