• Elizabeth Tullis, S-MFT

First Session Jitters: How to overcome any fears about your first therapy session.

Even though therapy is becoming less stigmatized recently, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to search for one and put yourself out there. Many times we have questions like:

“How do I know I can trust this person?”

“Is this worth my time and money?”

“How will I keep up with payments when I’m worried about other bills?”

“Will it really help me that much?”

“Will it be awkward if I want to change therapists and don’t know how to tell them?” “What if this therapist doesn’t “get” me and my experience?”

WE GET IT. We go to therapy too!

Maybe you wrote “get therapist” on your to-do list. Maybe each time when you see it STILL on there, you get annoyed and just scratch it out, only to notice that it keeps showing up. Maybe a friend or family member has been hinting or suggesting you need to “talk to someone”. Or maybe you innately know you need this, but are afraid of the pain it may bring up from the past, or it’s just way out of your comfort zone. Maybe you feel that you’re not good at the whole “talking it out” thing? Or even worse, you may be thinking "what if I CRY?!"

(artist: IlariaUrbinati)

So, here's the deal. Saying yes to meeting with a new therapist can feel daunting. You’re meeting with a stranger that although is credentialed and experienced, is still someone you don’t know yet. If the nerves are real, you’re normal! Nervousness usually comes from the unknown. So to help bring down the volume a bit, here’s what you can expect from a therapy session with us:

1. You will immediately feel at home and at ease. While signing into an online session or meeting in our office may feel intimidating at first, we promise once we meet, you’ll realize you’ve entered into a warm, open, judgement-free, safe zone where you can be exactly who you are and talk with ease.

2. Your questions or worries are always welcome. If you’re not sure how therapy is working out for you, or if we’re a good fit-- we completely understand. Our focus is YOU and what will be most helpful for your wellbeing. We will do everything we can to give you what you need to feel like you’re moving in the direction you’re wanting to. That also means if you have questions about therapy, why we’re using certain techniques, what notes we’re taking, why we’re asking certain questions, you have FULL access to these answers. Transparency as clinicians is important to us.

3. Whatever your struggles are, they’re not “too much” when we carry them together.

At Tate Psychotherapy, our therapists are trained in trauma-related therapies such as EMDR, family systems theories, attachment, anxiety and depression focused therapies like CBT, and others that can help you feel confident that your therapist has worked with your struggle before and knows how to help you move forward, towards next best steps and long term healing.

We know you are not your problems. We’re committed to working with you as a team to fix the problem instead of us working to ‘fix’ you.

What you choose to share with us is confidential, and will be met with understanding, validation, warmth, empathy, and respect.

It is our goal for you to feel safe, seen, and heard after you leave a session with us.

With Gratitude,


Elizabeth is currently accepting new patients.

To book an appointment with Elizabeth.

Please contact our client coordinator at