10 Possible Ways to Start your First Therapy Session

The most common opening lines in a therapy session are:

“I don’t know where to start” or “I don’t know what to say”

Sure you don’t, you’ve never met the therapist before, you may never have had therapy before and the prospect of opening yourself up might feel really unusual and a little bit daunting. Here I’ve provided you with ten ideas of ways to start. There is no right or wrong way to begin so you might decide to pick a suggestion below that feels easy or one that’s more challenging. You might decide to start with something not on the list, either way it doesn’t matter how you begin, even if it’s with silence. Your therapist will accept and respect your opening in whatever way you choose to proceed.

If when the moment comes you find yourself feeling confused and overwhelmed you can ask your therapist for help getting started and they will gently guide you.

The good news is that once you get going, it’s likely you’ll find your feet quite quickly and you’ll have a clearer sense of how you’d like to use your time together.

1. Discuss your primary reason for seeking therapy.

What was it that made you reach out and seek support?

2. Discuss your feelings from the lead up to your first session.

Were you nervous, anxious, excited, hopeful, ambivalent or something else?

3. Discuss your hopes for therapy.

What would you like to achieve as a result of embarking on therapy?

4. Give a picture of your life.

What’s it like to live life as you?

5. Share your history.

What’s your background?

6. Describe the biggest challenge you are facing.

What is the most problematic area of your life?

7. Share the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing in this very moment.

What is happening internally right now?

8. Share any fears or concerns surrounding therapy.

What are the worries, doubts or concerns that you have?

9. Describe how your day has been so far.

What have you been up to and how have you been feeling today?

10. Share your thoughts on what you wouldn’t want your therapy to be like.

What would you not like to feel or experience as part of your therapy?