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More Than 8 Tips to Prepare for the First Session With a Psychologist

By HERWriter
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Mental Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Going to a psychologist for the first time can be exciting and also scary for some people. Therefore, it’s important to remember a few things that will help guide the first few sessions. These are just helpful reminders for what you can do before your first sessions, since the psychologist should be able to help you properly if he or she is trained correctly – they’re not in order of importance.

1) Refresh your memory of your childhood and your life’s history in general. A lot of times, a psychologist will ask how your childhood was and the years after, depending on the methods of the psychologist. Either way, know the basics of how you came to be. Don’t always rely on what family members tell you either, since that can be biased.

2) Make sure you can tell the psychologist what you’re coming in for. Sometimes this is hard to figure out, since it might be multiple issues, but at least try to pick a main issue you want to work on so the psychologist can help you start on something. Figuring out the rest of what you want to work on can be a work in progress and sometimes changes, so keep your psychologist up-to-date.

3) Figure out what your method of payment is and if the psychologist you want takes insurance (if you have insurance). Psychologists who don’t take insurance can be pricey (hundreds of dollars per hour), so just keep that in mind.

4) Know some family health history beforehand. Does your mom or dad have anxiety or depression or ADD? Talk to different family members and see if they know if your family has a history of mental illness and if anyone has been diagnosed.

5) If you’ve been to other psychologists, bring that knowledge with you. For example, another psychologist could’ve diagnosed you with anxiety, but maybe you didn’t like his or her style. Let your new psychologist know what didn’t work last time and if you’ve already been diagnosed.

6) Have an idea of what kind of treatment you want because there are different methods psychologists use. This might require some research.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.