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Everything You Need to Know About Starting Therapy  

Harmony Bay Wellness


Why Therapy and Why Now?    

Not any day and any time is right for therapy. There are some major things to consider when signing up for therapy. Sometimes therapy comes along at the right time in your life and this article will help you make the most out of that experience. Talking to family and friends can be helpful but sometimes sharing your concerns and everyday life stress with family can create conflict unintentionally. A therapist in an unbiased third party trained to listen to you and help you make sense of your struggles and work through issues that once seemed insurmountable. There are many different ways to access therapy. Those with insurance can utilize it and a copay will cover the cost of your session. Those without health insurance or with insurance that is out of network can pay self-pay or contracted rates in order to cover the cost.  


Those without a prior mental health diagnosis or major life issues can find a lot of benefit in therapy. Some believe that they do not need therapy because they do not present with a diagnosis or do not believe that therapy could be beneficial to them. The important thing to remember is that you never know how you truly feel about something until you try it. In all honesty, the timing will never line up perfectly but you can make efforts to find a time you can commit to, even for a short period of time. Assess yourself and see what is going on in your life and how therapy could benefit your quality of life.  


Getting Ready for Therapy 

Below are 9 things to take into consideration: 


  • Set Goals  
  • Give yourself credit for setting up the appointment  
  • Schedule it as a time you know you can commit to 
  • Reserve time before and after to reflect  
  • Be prepared to ask questions and not necessarily get answers  
  • Be Honest 
  • Go easy on yourself- emotions can be surprising  
  • Go with your gut in terms of placing trust in your therapist  
  • Change takes time – it is not a rushed process 



Beginners Overview  

  • Starting anything new can be scary. That is simply a fact of life. However, your therapy experience does not have to be a total mystery. I find it helpful to know what to expect ahead of time with the understanding that not everyone does everything the exact same way. 
  •  A few guidance notes first: Therapy is not meant to be forever or long-term unless you feel you need it or there are pervasive mental health issues. The average time in therapy is 3-6 months and sessions are typically once per week. If once per week sounds too often then consider biweekly, semi-monthly, or even once per month. A rule of thumb is that if you feel you are struggling to come up with things to discuss after a few sessions, consider less frequent sessions. Another important note is that therapy is generally over once all stated goals have been met. Goals can change and be added or detracted over the course of therapy.  
  • An initial therapy session is not usually therapy; it is a chance to get to know one another and to gather relevant information. Some preliminary goals may be established in session but they are not usually finalized for several sessions.  
  • An intake session ranges from 16 minutes-90 minutes depending on what is going on in the client’s life, if there is a crisis, or if the client is a better fit for a higher level of care at this point in time.  
  • It is important to be open-minded and know that not every therapist is a great fit for everyone. At Harmony Bay we ask that you see a therapist for 3 sessions and then you are welcome to request a change.  


What Issues are relevant? How do I bring them up? Consider your own comfort.  

  • If you are experiencing stress from school, work, life, or a combination of all of them then therapy may be right for you.  
  • Two of the most common issues people attend therapy for are anxiety and depression 
  • Any issue can be a great fit for therapy!  
  • You bring up issues at your own comfort level. Some people are ready and can talk about them immediately and others require time to prepare. Your therapist can help through this process. All that we ask as therapists is that you are open and honest not only with others but with yourself too.  
  • You may be thinking how therapy can help – It depends on what you find to be helpful. Therapy is a marriage of therapist skill and client effort to be regarded as successful. There are many different approaches. The link at the end of this article will take you to an overview. 
  • Keep in mind that there are general therapists and then there are therapists that specialize in certain areas. The following are some specialty areas: eating disorders, trauma, PTSD, gambling/addictions, play therapy, certain mood disorders, and more pervasive mental health disorders 
  • The link posted at the end of this article has an in-depth overview for levels of care in therapy.  



What to Expect at Harmony Bay 



Published on 1/26/2023 | Written by Harmony Bay Therapist

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.