Get Ready for your First UpLift Session

Written by

Jack Sykstus, LMFT, CSAC


  1. Preparing for your first session requires some self-reflection
  2. Journal prompts such as those below can help clarify your goals for therapy
  3. Self-compassion and sharing expectations are key ingredients to the change process
  4. Finish your client onboarding and double check your information is correct in your settings

You just scheduled your first therapy appointment and you might be asking questions such as, “what are we going to talk about?”, “will therapy actually help me?”, “am I going to like my therapist?” and many more. These questions are normal before seeing a new therapist. To help you start this journey, here are some things you can do to prepare for your first session.


You signed up to start therapy! Regardless of the reason that motivated you to do so, this is a milestone worth celebrating—you’re taking steps to work on your emotional and mental health. As your first session approaches, spend time reflecting on what you would like to discuss in therapy. Some questions to ask yourself might be:

  1. What is my biggest motivator for going to therapy?
  2. What coping skills do I want to learn in therapy?
  3. What are some of my goals that I want to accomplish in therapy?


Journaling is a well-researched form of processing your emotions. There are well-researched benefits such as stress reduction, improved emotional regulation, and even a stronger immune system. Try the following journal prompt to prepare for your first session:

  1. What is a change I have been thinking about making, wanting to make, but haven’t made yet?
  2. Why is it important to me to make this change?
  3. What gets in the way of making this change?

Managing expectations

Therapy is a journey that takes time and dedication to make the changes you would like to see, oftentimes longer than we expect. Try to not get discouraged as wonderful learning moments can happen at each step. As you consider your reasons for therapy, what are some of the expectations you have? We recommend that you share your expectations with your therapist in session.

Don’t forget your to-dos!

  1. Double check that your contact, payment, and insurance information are correct.
  2. Add your emergency contact name and phone number.

Note: In order to begin your first session all of this information must be completed.