The first meeting with the therapist is an opportunity to find answers the questions: could I work with this therapist? Can I trust him? Do I like his way of working and his can I accept his point of view on the nature of the problems that are the goal of psychotherapy, as well as the approach to achieving therapeutic change? Can I commit to a certain frequency of sessions, duration of therapy and the degree of my personal involvement, as well as the degree of sharing?
The first session with the therapist has an informative and evaluative character for both parties. It is an opportunity for the client to present his goals, issues or suffering that leads him to the psychologist. In addition, the client can use the first session to ask questions related to the professional experience and specialization of the therapist and especially through his own experience of the therapist's personality to decide whether he could successfully partner with him/ her.
For his part, the therapist presents his qualifications, experience and basic principles of psychotherapeutic work, including professional ethical norms, which are an integral part of counseling and psychotherapy. The therapist has the opportunity to hear how the client presents his problems and expectations from the therapy, to dispel some doubts or fears about the psychotherapeutic interaction. An important goal of the first session for the therapist is to be able to formulate the client's request so as to achieve a shared understanding for the goals of the psychotherapeutic work. The next step is to define the framework of the therapeutic work, which includes the frequency of sessions, their duration and the fees and ways of payment.
In rare cases, the therapist may consider that the client's problem is not within the scope of his professional competence or that starting psychotherapeutic work with the client would be contrary to ethical principles and norms. In this case, the client is referred to another therapist or mental health professional.