At the beginning of our work I will normally work with you to accomplish two things.
First and foremost I will work with you to develop trust and a relationship. It takes a lot of courage to enter therapy, and it is only when we sit with someone we trust, without fear of judgment, that we can feel safe enough to open our world to that person and invite them in to help. Trust has to be earned, and I know that many of us come from backgrounds that make us hesitant to trust again. It's understandable that it may take time. I work patiently.
Secondly I will try to get a sense of what brings you in to therapy now, and some of your history that may help bring light to the kinds of thoughts and reactions you are having to your experience. This gives us an idea of where to start and a tentative road map of where we might head together. I am respectful and do not expect anybody to talk about the most vulnerable experiences in detail at this point, so if you are not ready to talk about certain things, that's okay. I will continue to work to earn your trust and build a safe environment to enable you to make the choice to reveal them, if that is what you eventually wish to do.
As part of our beginning work, I will talk with you about how you want to structure our time together, exploring what you have found helpful and unhelpful in the past, and what your expectations are for our work. I want to hear about any concerns you might have about coming to therapy and will work with you to address those concerns so you can feel as comfortable and safe as possible.