In the first session, you can expect that I will be asking many questions, as I work to get to both know you better and understand the current issues that are bringing you to therapy. During this intake session, you can expect that I will ask about the family you grew up in, your current home life, educational and job history, your history of substance use, and any prior involvement in therapy that you have had. Having a full understanding of where you have been and where you are now helps to understand where you want to get to as well.
In follow-up sessions, which ideally will be a week and a half to two weeks apart initially, I will usually start by reviewing our previous session notes and asking about updates and changes. Together, we will identify goals to work on between sessions and at the following session we will discuss what worked well and what happened as you worked on your goals. While the first session together we go through quite a bit of your historical information, follow-up appointments may also delve back into previous life events as it helps to have more background in relationship histories and patterns, patterns in thinking and coping, and tendencies that occur that impede you from reaching the goals you have or from consistently having the emotional wellness you want.
I have found over the years of therapy with clients that those who jot down notes during or after therapy sessions, keep track of progress between appointments, and share those notes at subsequent appointments find that they feel more successful in their therapy experience. So please, feel free to bring notes with you or ask for paper during a session to write down things that you find helpful.