Six Things you can do to prepare for therapy

  • 1. Create a grounding tool box and feel free to bring this along to therapy with you. A grounding tool box is a box of things that evoke a sense of calm in you. Sensory grounding tools such as ice packs, fidget toys, scent and even wearing a comfortable outfit can be useful when talking about hard things. We recommend these tools because they aid in regulating the nervous system and keeping you within your window of tolerance.
  • 2) Ask your therapist what is going to happen in session. Sometimes when folks have experienced trauma, the unknown can be especially activating.
  • 3) Set boundaries with your therapist – maybe you do not want to talk about the trauma in first session- we want you to feel safe in therapy. Therefore it is pivotal for you to set these boundaries with us.
  • 4) Remember that a therapist should not need to know all of the details of a trauma to do trauma treatment with you. You should be able to share “headlines.” We now know that having a client retell histories of trauma can be painful and even harmful.
  • 5) Share with us what you did and did not like about previous therapy. This will help us guide our lens and treatment conceptualizes. For example, I love Cognitive therapies, but for some folks this modality does not work. By sharing this information with me, I will ensure that I lean towards a different modality that better suits your needs.
  • 6) Be REAL and try to not engage in judging your own beliefs and feelings. The part of you that believes or feels a certain way is completely valid. In fact if you don’t like how you are thinking or feeling, then it is even more reason to share it in therapy. If you feel that you are beginning to judge or censor your own feelings/thoughts please share this with your therapist. As well, if you ever feel judged by your therapist- try to make effort to tell us.
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Chantal Pfaff Toi Toujours Counselling Guelph Kitchener WaterlooChantal Pfaff Toi Toujours Counselling Guelph Kitchener Waterloo