Q&A: What's it like to see a therapist?

Our Online Community and Instagram followers had a lot of questions about what seeing a therapist is like. Bryden, 24, and Nasalifya, Clinical Psychologist, sat down to answer those questions: from overcoming the awkwardness, seeing a therapist when you’re on a lower income, what to do if you can’t get in to see a therapist and how to deal if you don’t click with them.

Read the transcript.

Finding a therapist can be a little tricky, so have a huge shopping list of all the things you'd want in your dream therapist, then go online, have a look and see who ticks those boxes.

What we learnt about seeing a therapist:

  • When you’re looking for a therapist, it can help to think about what qualities and qualifications you want them to have.

  • If you’re not used to opening up, seeing a therapist can feel a bit awkward at first. But the therapist should do a lot of the work in making you feel comfortable to share what you want to share.

  • Preparing for your session is important. Think about what you want to talk about, and be ready to open up. Nasalifya also suggests making time for some self-care after the session.

  • Feeling like your treatment isn’t working sucks. Start by having an open conversation with your therapist, and then consider changing therapists if it’s not the right fit.

  • If you can’t get in to see a therapist, you can start by putting yourself on a couple of waitlists. See your GP and ask your family and friends for support. If you need immediate support, call a helpline like Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800).

  • Don’t forget to see your GP to get a Mental Health Care Plan to receive lower fee or bulk-billed sessions. You could also tell your therapist you are having financial struggles and see if they can reduce their fee.

What can I do now?

  • If you're not ready to see a therapist, you could try chatting to a peer worker. Peer workers have their own experience of tough times and mental health challenges, and recovery. They can listen and support you to figure out what to do next. Book a free, text-based session with ReachOut PeerChat here.