So you've scheduled your first appointment with Marble Wellness - now what? Whether this is your first experience with therapy or fifth, it can be anxiety-provoking to begin a relationship with a new therapist or new practice. To help lessen some of the "therapy scaries", here's an overview of what to expect from your first therapy session.
First things first: make sure all paperwork is complete before you walk into your session. We send it over electronically as soon as you schedule your first appointment. We can’t start without it. And since you wanted to feel better two days / two weeks / two years ago, we want you to have the full session to focus on what brought you to the room - not paperwork.
Our address is 301 Sovereign Court, Suite 115, Ballwin, MO 63011. Plan to arrive a few minutes early. This will allow time for wrong turns and red lights without worry for being late to meet someone you have never met. Once you’ve made it, you’ll have time to acclimate to the parking lot and building, and perhaps fit in a bathroom run. You’ll also have a bit of time to come down from the first-time jitters or new environment anxieties.
We have a quiet waiting room - there’s no formal check-in procedures for you to follow. Help yourself to water or coffee (there’s creamer in the fridge!). We also have mints available to you.
For clients meeting virtually, expect an appointment link from your therapist 1 - 10 minutes before the session begins. Marble Wellness uses Simple Practice, a HIPAA-compliant platform, to meet virtually with clients. No downloads are required to use the platform, but you might feel more at ease for the session if you have headphones nearby and have ensured your internet connection is stable. Don’t forget - you must be in Missouri for virtual appointments with our therapists while Margaret and Stephanie can meet with clients located in Missouri or Illinois. One last thing - clients meet from a variety of locations for virtual appointments - apartments, houses, offices, classrooms, and more, but never while operating a vehicle. Please plan accordingly!
So what now? You’ve found the building, parked your car, used the restroom, and are in the waiting room (don’t underestimate how big of a deal this is - showing up for yourself is major!). From there, your therapist will guide you to one of our meeting rooms. Expect 3 - 5 minutes to review important information, like confidentiality or how to contact your therapist outside of sessions. After that, it’s simply a conversation.
The first session may feel a little more “interviewy” as your therapist learns more about you - your reasons for therapy, supports, strengths, struggles, and more. Your therapist also may take notes the first session to remember key details about your story. Have questions about what your therapist is writing? Just ask!
Some clients find that no matter how many times they answer the question “what brings you to therapy” in their head, tears fall when answering this question (or others!) aloud for the first time. This is normal. It’s also normal not to cry! Your response is not indicative of the severity of what you are experiencing. No matter the tears that fall - or don’t - your therapist is comfortable with the emotions you bring to this session and others. We have tissues available in each meeting room for you to grab as needed. Don’t forget - tears have many purposes: to relieve pain, to communicate that something is “wrong”, and to connect with others. There’s nothing inherently wrong with crying. TLDR: don’t worry about the tears - we got you.
One question your therapist may ask is some variation of the “miracle question”. AKA, “if you could wake up tomorrow and everything would be fixed, how would life be different?” This question can be asked many different ways yet the purpose is generally to learn what outcomes clients would like to meet. So, what are your goals? In what areas would you like to improve? How will you know when your goals are met? We suggest taking some time ahead of that first session to consider that but also totally welcome that being part of what you explore in your initial sessions. It’s also understandable and absolutely allowed to change course as you get into your therapeutic process.
You might feel euphoria after the first session - or a sense of raw - and neither is right or wrong. Clients have expressed a sense of relief sharing long pent-up emotions or knowing that they are connected to help. For others, putting their “stuff” out there to another human can be jarring when done for the first time. Talk with your therapist about this - it might help you learn more about yourself in the process.
Be sure to have access to your calendar, however you keep it! Your therapist will schedule your next appointment with you at the end of the first session.
Worried about what to wear? Client attire varies person to person, session to session. Wear whatever fits best into your day or allows you to feel most comfortable. Workout clothes? Work clothes? A new shirt and pants? Truly, whatever works for you! Your therapist will likely dress casually, especially for our walk-and-talk sessions at Queeny Park.
Just as you planned to arrive at the office early, it may be helpful to plan some “you” time after the session. Having 30 minutes to process the session and any emotions that came with it can be helpful in ensuring a calm remainder of your day.
There you have it. Session one = done. Deep breaths. You’ve got this.
What’d we miss? Let us know!
Additional Counseling Services at Marble Wellness
Counseling services designed to help set you on a path of living a more fulfilled, calm, and happy life. We specialize in anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illness, therapy for men, couples, and maternal overwhelm. We can also help new moms with various postpartum concerns, moms in the thick of parenting, and moms with teens. We can also chat from wherever you are in the state with online therapy in Missouri and online therapy in Illinois. No matter where you are in your journey, we would love to support you.