My first EMDR therapy session felt like going on a date. It was hard finding her office, and that made me even more nervous than I already was. It was as if I was trying to find a restaurant where my new date was waiting. I called her frantically trying to find the building, which was seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I was meeting my therapist for the first time – she’s a Capricorn. I’m a Libra. I asked her what her sign was in the middle of quizzing her about herself. I know that therapy isn’t about her, it’s about her helping me, but I like to know a little bit about a therapist before I open up and tell them everything about myself and my life. I’m well-versed in astrology, and knowing that she was a Capricorn made me feel that she must be a dedicated person; she’s committed to studying whatever topic she chooses. She picked EMDR, which means she’s going to be an EMDR expert; this made me happy. It was exhausting going through all of the different things I needed to tell her about my trauma, but I knew that in the end, it would ultimately result in healing. Getting well was the goal, and I want to start feeling better. I went through with the hard part and was able to get to the point where I was confident that she’s going to help me. I was nervous but felt confident that she has the skills set to help me with my trauma.

New beginnings are hard, and because I’ve seen so many therapists in my life, it’s hard to trust that they’re going to help me sometimes; I’ve had some great therapists and some not-so-great ones. I’ve changed therapists, not because they weren’t helping me, but because I wanted to try a different kind of mental health treatment. I understand that learning to trust a new provider takes time. I know that I have to get to know the new therapist, that I see now, and she has to get to know me.

Before I started therapy, I had anxiety about going to see a new therapist, but learning more about their practice and who they are as a person helps. I like to believe that I have a good intuition about people I do like my new therapist as a person. She appears warm and real. She isn’t afraid to tell me what she thinks about my experiences. She seems like a good fit for me, and I feel like we’ll have a good therapeutic relationship. What I like about her the most is that she feels like someone I can let go with, and I realized after the session that one most important things in any form of therapy are letting go and being yourself. I want to be able to feel like I’m unzipping my unemotional jeans, and letting it all hang out. When I went to EMDR, I was nervous. I was going to discuss things that were upsetting. And I wanted to forget the bad stuff that happened to me. But, I knew that burying it wasn’t going to help. Facing hard truths, and painful memories are the way to heal. It’s not easy, but I knew my Capricorn therapist friend was there to help.

That was my first experience with my new therapist. I was anxious, but talking about things that weren’t emotionally charged was an excellent way to break the ice. When I was asking her about her astrological sign, it made me feel calm. I got a feel for her vibe and started to see that I could relax with her. If you’re about to see a new therapist, I hope that you know that you don’t have to dive into the serious stuff during your initial meeting.  I wish you the best of luck if it’s your first therapy session or if you’re getting ready to go back to therapy. I know that it can feel strange or uncomfortable at first and that it’s scary to open up, but you’ve got this.