Your Second Individual Therapy Session Explained
You’ve completed your first therapy session. Hopefully after your first session you’re feeling a sense of confidence in the direction discussed with your therapist. You may even feel a sense of optimism and hope that you will be able to gain control of a problem or challenge that prompted you to seek out therapy. In addition, you should come away from the first therapy session with a positive feeling about the therapist you selected. In this Question and Answer interview with psychologist Dr. Angela Bisignano, she answers questions about your second therapy session.
Dr. Bisignano’s primary goal is to help her patients live their best lives. Be the best version of yourself. It’s an ongoing pursuit. Fortunately, with the help of a professional you’re well on your way. The formalities and introductions are completed during your first session. Now, during your second session you can begin to dig deeper into whatever problem or challenge that you’re facing. If you haven’t yet, it may be worth reading these two articles: Considering Therapy and Your First Therapy Session Explained.
How long is the second therapy session?
A: The second therapy session is generally 45 minutes long. All subsequent sessions are about the same length of time, unless a person is doing an intensive or has arranged for a longer session. For instance, some clients prefer to book a 60 minute session or a double session.
What are the goals of this therapy session?
During the second session I am continuing to prepare and develop my assessment of what I believe is going on. An individual may present with their challenges, issues or mental health concerns; however, I will be noting behavioral, emotional, cognitive and relational areas that a person may or may not be aware of. This helps me in planning a course of treatment for therapy.
What actually happens in a therapy session?
Depending on the presenting issue I will explain the course of treatment and what to expect. For instance, treatment for someone with anxiety may differ from an individual seeking treatment for a break-up from a relationship, or a loss of a job. By the end of the second session, I am generally able to let people know the course of treatment and what to expect out of therapy.
Do I explain the problem or challenge or does the therapist ask leading questions?
I always begin by telling people what they can expect from therapy. My aim is to put people at ease, especially in the beginning. I want people to feel safe and that they can trust me. I work collaboratively with my clients. I assess what I believe may be most helpful for people in the process. Some individuals are clearer than others about what they may be seeking therapy for at this time. Others, may need more assistance with me asking more questions, exploring and discovering what may be the reasons for therapy.
I try and go at a pace where a person feels comfortable. I let people know that they only need to tell me what they feel comfortable sharing. I find this helps best.