Deciding to see a relationship therapist is a big step, but it can be intimidating if you aren’t sure what to expect. Fortunately, there are some tips to preparing for your initial visit so that you feel ready to step into the office together. Dr. Joelle Kallio, a clinical psychologist, has been helping the Saint Paul, MN, community for years. Below, she shares some of her best tips before your first session.
Relationship Therapists' Tips for Your First Visit
1. Do Your Research
It’s important to find a therapist who best suits your family’s needs. Ask friends or family for recommendations or do an extensive search online to find someone who fits your needs. Make sure that they specialize in relationships and are licensed in your state. Also check to see if they’re covered by your insurance.
2. Think About Your Desired Goal
Reflection is an ideal way to prepare your mind and heart for the session. Consider what your ideal objective in therapy is. Maybe it’s to communicate better, or perhaps you want to find coping strategies to move past infidelity. Whatever it may be, set your intention so you can openly share it with your therapist.
3. Have an Open Mind Going In
Counseling can feel unfamiliar at first, but remember that it’s an open and safe environment. Your counselor is there to guide you, so try to have an open mind about the possibilities. Even if your relationship feels far away right now, believing that it can improve is an important first step.
4. Focus on Improving Yourself, Not Your Partner
While every couple is different, many people end up wanting to fix things that they feel are ‘wrong’ about their partner. Maybe your husband doesn’t communicate well or never listens. While that can be discouraging, get in the mindset of focusing on how you can improve yourself—whether that be through coping strategies or better communication tools. You can change, but you can’t force someone else to.
5. Write Down Any Questions You Have
Your first appointment may fly by because there’s a lot to cover, so it’s best to write down any questions you may have beforehand. This way you don’t forget to ask, and you give yourself the chance to address any up-front concerns.
Seeking marriage counseling or a relationship therapist is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s always best if you and your partner walk through your goals and expectations beforehand, so you’re starting the sessions on the right foot. If you’re searching for a therapist in the Saint Paul, MN area, trust Dr. Joelle Kallio. Her extensive experience has helped many patients over the years find the right communication tools and coping skills to move forward in a positive direction. To learn more, visit her website or call (651) 917-5040 to schedule your first appointment today.