Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Your 1st Therapy Session and Soon Thereafter - Conclusion

Ghosting the Therapist - We Were Getting it Long Before it was a Thing in Social Media!

I wanted to conclude this discussion from the past several weeks about the 7 Things You Should Know Before Your First Therapy Appointment. One might argue that the clients who are unfamiliar with therapy might not be able to utilize these seven items despite them being a potential for successful initiations to treatment.   Frankly, there are times ...
where the first attempt at therapy is unsuccessful. The client actually arrives but his foot is already out the door before he even arrives.

This often has nothing to do with the client or the therapist.  Well, it does and it doesn’t. This therapy failure could be another discussion that would include the client self-sabotaging, or the therapist’s lack of insight to the client's needs, to a host other factors.  But in this writing, the clients might feel uneasy about the therapy and discontinue treatment because of various reasons which might be a perception that the therapist is “not what I’m looking for,” or “not skilled with what I need,” or countless other rationales.  These reasonings, although believable might be a defense and a way to avoid the hard work that might be needed for Self growth. With this thinking unease about treatment, the therapist might still need to do a check-in in the first few sessions to ensure the client is understanding the process; however, the therapist and client are at a disadvantage as the client might have unconsciously had one foot out the door before even entering the room in the first session.  Furthermore, is there even time available for the therapist to provide this check-in with the client needing to get his time in as to why he is here; along with, the therapist getting the intake, insurance, billing, informed consent completed.

As previously stated in an earlier blog, working with new clients is a delicate relationship.  That might be the reason for concluding the talk about the things you should know before your first session with the idea of non ghosting of your therapist.  It is easy to avoid the subject of termination because no one wishes to address termination, break-ups, and saying goodbyes.

So, going into therapy for the first time is daunting and difficult. Perhaps the best piece of suggestion beside reading the above mentioned seven items is to set a commitment to three months of consistent sessions (assuming you have developed a good rapport and the therapist is a good match).  After this time it might be realistic to have a way to evaluate the process. But, as easy as it is to just put the therapist in a black screen and ghost them like we are seeing in our social media culture this is not a healthy way to to work out a relationship, regardless of its short term or long term significance.

Photo by Kipras ┼átreimikis on Unsplash
Photo by Ian Froome on Unsplash
Photo by Rachel Nickerson on Unsplash

Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

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