As an Atlanta therapist, I believe in the power of continuing my own journey of growth by participating in therapy. It’s part of how I work to honor what my clients are experiencing, while also giving myself permission to do work on myself. I like to practice what I preach. And so, I’ve had the experience of calling therapists to schedule an initial session.
And it’s terrifying! You would think that as an Atlanta therapist, calling to schedule a first appointment would feel normal. But, when I have taken the step of calling a therapist for the first time I experience all kinds of emotions. It feels very vulnerable speaking with a stranger about why I’m considering counseling. I find myself wondering what they think about my situation, and feeling vulnerable about putting myself out there.
And, calling different therapists yields different results. Sometimes you get to speak directly with the therapist, and sometimes you speak with the secretary for their practice. Both calls feel vulnerable!
Ahhh! Calling an Atlanta Therapist is freakin hard.
I like to be in control, and if I’m not careful I can be a people pleaser. But, I have to fight this urge when going through this process. Because, those things don’t serve me well in the process of finding a therapist. The more real I am with my stuff, the more open I am about what I need, the better chance I have at finding a therapist who would be a good fit for me.
And yet, I do it anyway. I call. I accept the feeling. I book the appointment. And, I ask my clients to do the same. Sometimes when you call for the first time, I wonder what the experience is like for you. What do I sound like on the other side of the line? Am I able to convey support and empathy while also showing genuineness and authenticity? I hope so! While I can’t completely put myself in your shoes, I work to take the same steps I ask you to take.
If I could provide some tips for calling an Atlanta therapist they would be:
- Share your ‘why I’m seeking counseling’ honestly and concisely. I want to know that I’m going to be able to help you. And if I know you need support in an area that I have no experience or training in, I want to refer you to someone who can be a rockstar (by supporting you) when I can’t be.
- Ask any questions that you want answered. This is a time for you to get the information you need in order to find the right fit. If you’re wanting someone who is trained in hypnosis, go ahead and ask if I am. This way you get what you need.
- If you’re wondering if I’m comfortable working with your situation, just ask. You want to feel confident that I am comfortable with you, and I want to be honest with you about my experience and abilities.
- Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I don’t think we’re a good fit’, or ‘Let me think about it before I make a decision’
- Do make an appointment as soon as you’re ready. So many people wait, and then their crisis goes away so they don’t schedule counseling. But most people’s crises come back up and then they wish they had worked on things a lot sooner.