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Getting Started

Get Ready for Your First UpLift Session

You just scheduled your first therapy appointment. To help you start this journey, here are some things you can do to prepare for your session.

Jack Sykstus, LMFT, CSAC
Jack Sykstus, LMFT, CSAC

Jack Sykstus, LMFT, CSAC, has years of experience guiding families through substance use disorders and previously worked as Associate Director of Clinical User Experience at the Partnership to End Addiction.

10

min read

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.

Self-Reflection

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

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.

About the author
Jack Sykstus, LMFT, CSAC

Jack Sykstus, LMFT, CSAC, has years of experience guiding families through substance use disorders and previously worked as Associate Director of Clinical User Experience at the Partnership to End Addiction.

Edited by

Meredith McClarty

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tip

Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.