The idea of coming to your first therapy session can be daunting and scary but don’t worry that is completely normal.
The idea of the unknown causes anxiety for everyone but I am here to put that anxiety to rest and to let you know the therapy set up you see portrayed by Hollywood is wrong,there is no couch. Just a normal room with chairs.
About our offices
Our offices are in Douglas Street in the section between Bath Street and Sauchiehall Street. For those avid poultry fans, we are in the building right next to the Nando’s on Sauchiehall Street.
The building is called Rothesay House and we are on the 2nd floor.
There is a buzzer entry, so your therapist may tell you not to show up early (usually if it is a late evening appointment or a weekend) as there may be no one in the reception to buzz you in.
A warm welcome
When you enter the office (if it is during the working week you will be greeted by an American girl) you will usually be offered a coffee or tea. Some insider information about our coffees and teas; we may have freshly brewed coffee (but sometimes it may instant) and we offer regular tea but also have Earl Grey, peppermint, lemon & ginger and green tea & lemon.
Sometimes you may be lucky enough to catch a chai tea in the office, so do ask. Or if you aren’t a fan of any of the coffees and teas, we can offer you a cold glass of water. Water is usually a good choice, Scottish water is the best after all.
We have a waiting area,(which has a few psychology magazine to read but sadly no light reading…yet), with some comfortable chairs and depending on the time and day of your session, there may be some students milling about (as we are also a training provider too).
Our offices are very light, modern and airy and nicely decorated with pops of colour (and cows, there are a lot of Steve Brown paintings – all decor was picked out by one of the Directors who has a keen stylish eye paired with a love for TK Maxx).
As I mentioned earlier, your therapist may advise you to arrive right at your appointment time if there is no reception cover, so the waiting room may not be a destination on your first visit, but since most people tend to arrive early for sessions (as is the norm for appointments in general – I was always told to arrive 15 minutes early to appointments. Not sure by whom, but it seems to be the consensus. Also, if you are not sure where you are going the first time you tend to leave earlier than you need too. Or at least I do.).
At your appointment time your therapist will come and get you and take you to the therapy room. We have 3 therapy rooms set up with 3 comfy chairs and a table in the middle and then a back room which is bigger so has quite a few chairs and a table to the side.
All rooms have a whiteboard which the therapist will use to write things down and they may give you handouts and stuff to work on (as homework is central to CBT – giving you the tools and techniques to help with any unhelpful thinking styles, negative thought patters, etc).
The first thing that you will discuss with your therapist will be your contract with them and why you are seeking therapy.
It is always hard to open up about issues that are playing on your mind. However, I can not describe the feeling of catharsis when you finally get things off your chest to someone who is not directly involved in your life and is completely empathetic and non-judgmental.
I am not saying it won’t be hard at times but it will be worth it, trust me.
The most important thing to remember when engaging with therapy of any modality it that the relationship with your therapist is key – and if you feel like you would want to see someone else for any reason at all they will not be offended. You should feel comfortable, understood, and able to discuss anything – and you should be steering the sessions, talking about what you want to discuss.
The first session (the initial assessment) will be mostly discussing the contract, why you are coming to therapy and what you are hoping to get from your sessions.
Then you will agree on the next session date and that is when the real work begins.