What happens in the first session of online psychotherapy and face to face psychotherapy
The initial consultation in psychoanalytic psychotherapy is usually for both you and I to see how we are able to connect, if there is a good match between us. For psychotherapy to be effective, a good relationship between patient and therapist is necessary. Studies have shown that this is the best indicator, regardless of the model of therapy used (i.e. psychoanalytic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, etc.). For a good psychotherapeutic relationship to develop, there needs to be chemistry between patient and therapist – just like in every other kind of relationship, professional or personal. This effectively means that we should be able to sit down together – either through face to face work in my office or in online therapy via skype – connect and think together on the issues that you bring. It usually becomes apparent in the first session whether we can build a good psychotherapeutic relationship in which we can explore all the things that trouble you.
As your therapist some of the things I do are asking questions, clarifying, interpreting and when necessary, asking you to stay a bit longer with issues that come up for you.In the first session you’re called upon to talk about and delineate what’s on your mind. It’s not necessary that you have everything clearly mapped out in your mind. Often enough this is not possible and it can certainly be one of the reasons that brought you to psychotherapy. Part of the work is to clear the confusion around various issues and find the words to talk about what is going on so that we can better describe and work through it, in order to gain a deeper understanding. The only thing necessary is for you to want to talk about what’s ailing you. I can help talk about the difficulties at hand by asking questions, stating and clarifying what I’ve understood and occasionally asking you to stay with a particular issue that seems important to open up and explore. The latter is in fact a practice we will follow throughout the duration of the therapy. Read more about what I do as a therapist.
During the session I will ask you for your history regarding your physical and mental health, including your education and work. I will also ask about your family system, the quality of your relationships with important care takers and about your support network.
Towards the end of the session I will try to summarize what I thinks is going on for you and how we might work together. This is not always possible or obvious within one session, so more sessions might be necessary for it to become clearer. There are also cases where this is not what is asked for. The first session is also a good time for you to ask any questions regarding the process of psychotherapy and the frame within which it will take place, including the boundaries of the psychotherapeutic relationship.
The first session will vary and should vary between individuals, depending on the issues you bring to the therapy. All of the above is usual practice, however it’s not the rule. Just like your psychotherapy will differ from your friend’s, even if you had the same psychotherapist, so will your first session be different, because you are different and so are your issues.
Contact Irene Bakopoulou to start your online therapy sessions.
All questions are welcome.
Read more on online therapy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy: