Therapy usually isn’t like what you’ve seen in the movies or on TV.
That being the case, you may be wondering — what is a typical therapy session actually like? While every therapist works in their own way, below I’ll outline what my own clients can expect from a typical therapy session.
Here’s what to expect in a typical therapy session:
We’ll meet in my virtual therapy room.
With an entirely virtual practice, we’ll meet online — aka wherever you’re most comfortable. If you opt-in to automated reminders, you’ll receive an email prior to our scheduled session time with a link to my virtual therapy room (otherwise, you can join through our secure client portal).
We’ll start with a check-in.
During our brief-check in, we’ll cover:
- your location (in case of medical or mental health emergency).
- your privacy measures (to confirm confidentiality and troubleshoot if needed).
- how you’ve been doing since last session (including the outcome of any new strategies you’ve practiced).
We’ll make a game plan for our therapy session.
I’ll come prepared with a potential session agenda based on your treatment plan. If that agenda sounds good to you, we’ll hop in. If there’s something you want to add or remove, all good too. Our sessions will be flexible and we won’t always follow our agenda exactly. This is just to agree on a general direction we want to go during our time together.
We’ll get to work.
Depending on your treatment plan, a typical therapy session might look like:
- Exploring and clarifying your personal values as a parent (and person on the planet).
- Creating a holistic self-care plan to support your mental health during pregnancy, the postpartum year, and/or your return to work.
- Processing your emotions about becoming a parent and all of the changes it brings.
- Learning to work WITH big feelings (physical and emotional) instead of against them.
- Building confidence as a new parent by taking inventory of your unique strengths.
- Anticipating and effectively preparing for your specific needs as a new parent.
- Developing strategies for communicating those needs to your support system.
- Determining how to creatively connect with pre-baby parts of your life that are important to you.
- Finding practical ways to simplify, share, and manage your mental load.
- Considering how to integrate your evolving roles and identities in a way that feels right for you.
While every therapy session is unique, it often includes three ingredients: mindfulness (showing up to the present moment), values (exploring what matters most to you), and action (taking gentle steps forward).
We’ll set an intention.
At the end of each session, I’ll invite you to set an intention for the following week. This is an opportunity to reflect on any specific insight you gained from our discussion and decide what you want to apply in your actual life between sessions. I’ll be there to help you clarify a super specific and practical next step. Our goal is for you to set an intention that is big enough to feel exciting and meaningful, but small enough to feel realistic and doable.
Whether you’re expecting or have a newborn at home, you have a lot on your plate — so this isn’t about adding more to it! Sometimes, your intention might even be to take something off of your plate. Whatever the case, it’s about what feels like the best next step for YOU.