The Initial Encounter
Meeting someone for the first time can be anxiety provoking in any context. This is especially true when beginning the process of psychotherapy. I often find that a majority of patients come to my office with a great number of questions. This internal peril may look like this: do I really need therapy? Is someone going to be able to handle all of my secrets? Am I going to feel judged by what I have to share? Can I trust this person? Do I really want to talk about my past? All of these questions are valid. Another metaphor I can give starting psychotherapy is like going into a dark room with all the lights turned off. You are not quite sure where certain things are but you might have a general idea. I have found that people are amazing and resilient when it comes to survival. I am not just talking about physical survival, but the type of emotional survival that keeps us going when we have had unspeakable truths happen to us. Being mindful of this takes the utmost importance when I work with new and current patients.