You might think the only thing you need to take to therapy with you when it is the first time you go is yourself. But there are some other things you should consider. These are ten things I wish I had taken to therapy when I first started and by the end of it, I found myself regularly taking them with me…
1 – A Blank Slate
I’m not talking about an actual piece of slate, I am talking about the metaphorical one. It doesn’t matter how many other therapists you have seen before this new one and it definitely doesn’t matter what you might have heard or read about. Start fresh, start each new therapist with a totally blank slate and don’t go into it with preconceived notions and misconceptions. Every therapist is different every session a new start.
2 – A Bottle of Water
Even if it is a light session rather than a heavy one you might still be talking a lot and that means you will get a dry mouth. By taking a bottle of water in with you it not only keeps your lips and mouth moist, but it also gives you something to hold and feel a little more grounded with. It’s not just a bottle of water sometimes, it’s much more than that.
3 – Tissues
Here is a news flash no-one needs to hear! There will be times in therapy when you will cry. All the stress and worries will often come to the surface and that means you might well shed a tear and yes that might well happen on the very first session as you might feel a little scared and let things get on top of you. While most therapists will have some handy I found it best to take my own and I always took some kitchen roll (soaks up the tears and snot a little better).
4 – Deodorant
There are a few reasons why you might consider taking some deodorant with you. The first is that you might notice you need a little spray or underarm rub before you even enter the room bearing in mind that you will be in a small room in close proximity to your therapist. The other is for afterwards! Yes, it is true you might well find yourself sweating during the session. This could be down to stress or anxiety or just because the room is hot.
5 – Notebook
There are certain questions you should be asking your new therapist and you might not think of them all when you are in the first session, so do bring along a note pad with some pre-wrote questions in it. Your therapist will always be happy to answer them no matter how basic and silly they might seem to you. This is also a good way to feel a little more relaxed and in control which is especially welcome in your very first session.
6 – Diary
If you have a diary or a planner you might want to take it with you as you might want to make one or more future appointments. While most people will use their phones these days some people do use diaries and planners and if that is you maybe take them with you.
7 – Mints or Sweets
It is always good to take some breath mints or some sweets to chew on while sitting in the waiting room or just before you enter the office in which the therapy session will be held. This will make your breath smell nicer and your mouth will remain moist. I wouldn’t take chewing gum as you might not find anywhere to bin it and the last thing you want to do is to be chewing during a session.
8 – Money
This could mean a bank card or cold hard cash, but I would definitely recommend taking more than you need as you might get on really well with the therapist and want to book more than one future sessions and paying upfront for them is a great way to show commitment to your therapist and more importantly yourself.
9 – Fidget Cube or a Spinner
They were once all the rage, but let me tell you, they are great little things to take in with you when you first goto therapy. Sur,e you might feel a little silly bringing one in, but they are good for grounding you, making you feel more relaxed and can even help with anxiety. So why not grab one from the kid’s toy box before you go.
10 – Smartphone
While most people will have their smartphones with them at all times you might be thinking it is best to leave it in the car or at home. The last thing you will want to do is to forget to put your phone on silent and it rings during a session. But a smartphone is a lot of different things these days so if you use it as an organiser or just as a phone, you might well need numbers from your therapist and they might well need some numbers from you.