Individual therapy can be quite helpful for many issues. Typically people looking for a therapist are either referred by a medical doctor, a trusted friend or colleague, or decide to seek therapy on their own initiative. Even though the symptoms that bring people into therapy can be quite different, and the person may only have a vague idea of what is wrong, what is often unclear at the outset are the underlying issues that cause those symptoms.

For instance, someone may feel anxious about performing well at school or work and that may impair their ability to function. The underlying causes may be anything from:

  1. Feelings of self-doubt
  2. Fears of failure
  3. Fears of fully utilizing one’s potential.
  4. Long standing self-criticism.

Because the causes may be unclear, the most essential first step to take when struggling with emotional health symptoms is to schedule an initial appointment with a qualified professional. That appointment should give you an opportunity to begin to learn and discover the sources of your difficulties and begin working on a plan to change.

During the 1st Appointment

Typically, the first several sessions are used by the therapist to obtain information and better understand the symptoms the person is presenting with. The therapist’s job is to use his training to help the person make sense of his or her difficulties and create a clear-enough plan for how to resolve those symptoms. This can take several sessions, however, the patient should start to feel gradually understood by the therapist and should have some sense of what the therapy can accomplish.