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Preparing for a Therapy Session: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: May 16

As a therapist, I have been asked several times in consultations “What should I do to prepare myself for our session?” This is a question I always appreciate from clients because it shows that they desire to be proactive about being in the best possible state to absorb the information and respond to different processes that may be engaged in during the session. In this blog I would like to answer this question in full so that anyone preparing for a session of life coaching, therapy, or any other healing appointment can feel prepared. 

Woman looking at phone while drinking coffee

1) Physical Comfort


If you’re about to meet with someone for any length of time and discuss things that are personal, disturbing, or stressful in any way, it is beneficial to do everything you can to set up your brain and body for physical comfort. 

Prepare something to keep you hydrated during the session that you can plan to sip on throughout the conversation. This could either be before the session or something you bring with you. Dehydration can be a major factor in fatigue and lack of focus. 

Have a snack (preferably something with a little bit of protein in it) to prepare your brain for focusing and processing information. 

Wear comfortable clothes if possible. I know a lot of people find time for appointments squeezed in on their lunch hour at work, but maybe consider what they day has in store for you while dressing that morning, and pick something that’s going to free up head space. I know what it’s like to wear that one really cute shirt that just has me constantly tugging and readjusting, and a therapy session is not the place where you want that preoccupation going on. 

Go to the bathroom! This one seems simple but you’d be surprised how much brain space is taken up by the thought “I really need to pee!” Also, please know that it should always be ok with the provider you're meeting with for you to step away to use the bathroom. I would always rather my clients be comfortable while I’m meeting with them. 

Woman looking off into distance with coffee

2) Mindfully Consider the Topic of Discussion


As the session approaches, spend some time quietly reflecting on what you would like to accomplish or discuss during this time. Consider anything that has been happening recently that has not been the way you would like it to be; bring specific examples to mind. In sessions I am often encouraging my clients to start with noting one specific emotion, behavior, or thought that they have recognized is not serving them. This is YOUR time, and you can feel empowered to direct the conversation toward what you believe will be most valuable for you today. 

Man happy looking at laptop

3) Set an Intention


Finally, set an intention on how you would like to see the session go. I may write a blog at some point covering the best ways to set an intention so it can be understood by your unconscious mind. But for now, the most valuable thing to practice is making your intention specific and concrete. Don’t just think to yourself “I see this session going well.” Your unconscious, which does not process or understand abstract concepts, does not get what you mean when you say “going well.” Instead, create a picture or video in your head of what “going well” would literally  look like. Is it you and the therapist laughing together? Is it your therapist listening and nodding along while you explain how things have been for you? Maybe it’s you smiling and saying “Wow! I’ve never thought about it like that before, that feels so much better!” Maybe it’s all three.

Therapist listing to client

If you already have a provider in mind or a session scheduled, it is my intention that this post be exactly what you need to feel like you are ready to move forward fully prepared. If you haven’t yet found someone that you connect with but are looking to make some changes, feel free to set up a consultation with me by following this link:

Thanks for reading and bye for now!

Want to learn more? You can reach out to me at Let's embark on this journey of positive change together.


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