It’s completely normal to feel nervous or scared before you see your first psychologist. It may even feel wrong in some ways, which is also normal. [1] Rest assured, though, the fact that you are taking or even considering this step is mighty impressive — so give yourself a firm pat on the back. Many people never seek help for their problems, and it can lead to a whirlwind of issues down the line. Thankfully, more and more people, especially younger people, are learning that it’s okay to seek out help. The number of people seeking help for depression has tripled since the 1980’s. [2] Getting a jumpstart on your mental health is always important. We must figure out how to overcome these stigmas and seek out the help we need!

man writing in a notebook

The relationship you share with your psychologist is very individualized and personal to you, and it is okay to take your time building that sort of trust. If you don’t feel comfortable at first, that’s okay too. If you have trouble speaking up, you could try writing down or typing your feelings out and showing them to your therapist during your visit. If you’re perhaps the type that likes to plan things out, and don’t like the uncertainty of the first visit, you could contact your psychologist and send them a list, even if it’s just a few rough bullet points of what you want to talk about.

On that note, you could always let your psychologist know of your fears about therapy during or leading up to your first visit. Even just shooting them a quick email would help, just so that they know what to prepare for and talk about. Any direction you give to them will help them work with you in a way that best suits your needs. Before you do anything, it is advised that you contact their office directly and ask what to expect during your first visit; they should be able to give you more specifics. [3]

therapy session

Do you perhaps feel like you might become a burden on your psychologist with all of this information? Not to worry — that’s their job, after all, and they have had the necessary training and experience in order to take in vast amounts of information and help you with your issues. It’s okay to unload during your visits — in fact, it’s encouraged. Keep in mind that you don’t need to do it all at once, so take your therapy at your own pace. Sometimes talking about your issues, especially in reference to traumatic events or fuzzy memories, will make you feel worse than you did before therapy. This is also a fairly normal occurrence. It just means you’re facing something you’ve gotten used to repressing. The end goal with therapy is to learn to minimize these bad feelings, and often the first steps are the hardest.

If, say, it’s been about a month, and you still feel the same levels of uncertainty that you felt when you started, it is also okay to consider switching to another psychologist. Not everyone perfectly matches up right away — in fact, it is very common to not find the ideal match the first time out. You could also ask a close friend or relative for advice or recommendations for who to see. At the end of the day, your thoughts and feelings are the most important part of this whole experience — they are, after all, what therapy is for.

[1] – “I’m Nervous about Starting Therapy; Is That Normal?”, 10 Mar. 2016,
[2] – Rubin, Eugene. M.D., Ph.D. “How Many People Are Treated for Depression?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 20 Jan. 2011,
[3] – Marter, Joyce. “Tips To Lessen Anxiety Before Your First Therapy Appointment.” Urban Balance, 2 Apr. 2018,



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