So, you’ve admitted to yourself that you’ve got a problem- or maybe more than one problem. You’ve had that mental chat with yourself (a few times) and come to the conclusion – yes, it’s time to get someone else involved. You can’t do it alone any more. You need to seek help.
You’re nearly at the point where change begins. But once you pick up the phone, or you meet your new therapist for the first time, what on earth do you say? If you’ve gotten used to bottling your problem up, ignoring it or just not talking about it, starting this very personal conversation can be awkward, difficult and nerve-wracking.
Since I started supporting vulnerable people many years ago, I’ve had a variety of first-time meetings. Just as people are all unique, the way they present themselves and their problems is also unique. From clients who grill me as if I were applying for a job, to the jokers who try to be my friend, I really don’t mind WHAT you say as much as I care about the fact that you turned up to the session in the first place.
If you can’t seem to get the right words out, I don’t mind. If you arrive with your defensive walls firmly in place, that’s fine too. I’ve been trained to accept and work with almost everyone who walks through my door, and the fact that you have turned up to your talking therapy -hopefully of your own free will- tells me just as much about you as the words coming out of your mouth.
Don’t worry about those, by the way – the words. So many people are scared they’ll get them wrong. Maybe they’ll offend me by swearing, shock me with their past experiences or bore me with the insignificance of their problem. Unlikely. Here is the truth: once you are in your therapist’s office, you cannot get it wrong. You literally cannot communicate the wrong thing to your therapist. We are trained to accept you for who you are, and to pay attention to every aspect of how you communicate, not just your words. So just take a breath in, look away if you need to, and let that mouth begin to speak…. You may even surprise yourself with what you say or how you say it.
At your first conversation with me, we’ll probably discover together that you either need a bit of coaxing and reassuring to open up – maybe you come in for help for issue B while not really wanting to discuss issues A and C. That’s absolutely fine – there’s plenty of time for you to open up a bit more as your hypnotherapy progresses. You need to do what feels safe and comfortable for you.
Or perhaps you strongly feel that the first session is a time to just go for it and get it all out there. Maybe there’s no point in feeling this scared if you’re not going to get the whole lot off your chest at once. Go for it. Again, if this feels safe and like the right thing to do, then you will quickly feel a huge benefit from sharing openly.
Both of these are ways to be during your first meeting with your therapist. Neither style is better or worse than the other- they’re just different. Either way, if you’re not sure what you’ll say during that first conversation with your therapist, please be reassured – that simply by you being there, and trusting the process, you’ll be making a great start towards changing your own life for the better.
Your words are valid, your experiences are real and your story is important. Come along and share it.