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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Harris

What will my first counseling appointment be like?

Many people, especially those who have never been to therapy before, wonder or even worry about what the first counseling session will be like. I promise you I will try to make our first meeting as simple and productive as possible. We will be meeting and getting to know each other, not too differently than you meet and get to know other people in your life – although likely more quickly and deeply than when meeting most people. The conversation will also be largely about you and your wants and desires, although you are certainly welcome to ask about me, my training, experience, and therapeutic approach.

Our session will be largely guided by what you want to and are open to sharing and what issues have brought you into therapy - those things you see as most important to address. We will likely talk about your life in general – who are the important people in your life, what are your habits and routines, what are the challenges you are experiencing, and what do you want out of life. Sometimes diving into the past is warranted, sometimes it makes more sense to stay in the present.

The great thing about therapy is that I will never judge you. I have no preconceived notions of you, your past, or your motives. I have no biased interest in your life and your choices. From day one, we will be building a relationship where we will work together for a sole goal – to work toward what you want from life. My role is to support you in the ways you need to be supported. This is a unique relationship that is seldom experienced outside of therapy.

For your initial session, we will be laying the groundwork for the work we will be doing together. We will comfortably get to know one another. We will discuss the enjoyable and the difficult. We will likely laugh some, and there may be some tears. If you don’t know what to talk about, that is okay, I will guide you when needed. The thing to remember is, therapy is your time, for you and you only. We will use it in a way that will be most helpful to you. You should leave your first session with at least a tentative plan for how we will work together to meet your goals. Depending on what those goals are, we may begin discussing or even implementing strategies to meet them the first session. We will discuss what type of schedule will work best for you, how often and how long of sessions you want, and where we will meet. All of these things can and should be adjusted as needed, continuously tailoring your supports to your specific needs.

I look forward to meeting you!

If you’ve got further questions about what your first therapy session will look like, or any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

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