What to expect from your first psychology appointment

So you’ve booked the first appointment. Now what? You might be feeling some nerves or you could be feeling optimistic that you’re on track to ensuring your mental health is in good shape.
Now each psychologist may conduct their sessions differently so I’d like to share what to expect when you attend appointments with me. So to begin with you will first receive a confirmation email with information attached and a link to fill out a client intake form (date of birth, medicare details, address etc etc etc) when you first complete your booking. In the lead up to appointments you will also received auto-generated emails and texts to remind you of your upcoming sessions (in order to help you avoid that cancellation fee by giving you a heads up that “hey if you need to cancel do it with 24 hours notice!”)
On the day of their appointment most clients come a little earlier, usually to allow for parking and to locate our clinic. They have a seat and then I will come and greet them and invite them into the therapy room. Once we sit down the general run down is:

1. Introductions
2. Limits of confidentiality explained
3. What to expect with me – I find this helps settle nerves for most clients so I give an overview of the session:  first we start with main concerns that bring you here, we look at your everyday life functioning, then we backtrack through to past mental health history (if any), family history, social and developmental history, medical history, and then goals. So basically your life story wrapped up in an hour or so
4. Treatment recommendations – based on client’s individual goals I like to propose different approaches that could be appropriate. I have a collaborative approach so I like to let my clients know all their options and we work together on a plan.
5. Check for confidence in proceeding – I never assume that clients are keen to go ahead with me so after the assessment and giving them an idea of how I work we talk about whether they’d like to go ahead and if so then we go into booking appointments.

That is pretty much the gist of what to expect from session 1!