What to Expect in Psychotherapy

What to Expect in Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy can help you deal with challenges related to mental health and emotions. Many people have no idea what goes on during psychotherapy, but it’s not something you need to be scared about.

If you’re worried about what to do, read this article to know what to expect in psychotherapy.

You will be asked to fill out forms

While many people can be intimidated by the idea of going to a psychologist’s office for psychotherapy, it’s not actually that different from going in to see a regular doctor.

When you first apply, whether you’re talking face-to-face therapy or online therapy, you will be asked to fill up forms. This is to help your therapist compile a record of you, and just get to know you better.

In certain cases, you may be asked to take a few diagnostics or psychological tests to help further assess your condition. None of these are difficult, and all information will be kept confidential.

It will be different from talking with a friend

Some people have the idea that psychotherapy is unnecessary, because if you’re just talking you can do that with anyone, right? You can pour your heart out to your friends and have the same results without paying a cent, right?

Wrong. While having a friend that you can talk to about your feelings and fears is important, they may not always be equipped with the right skills to deal with them. 

Psychotherapists have the skills to not only listen but analyze and identify what you don’t realize about yourself. They’re also objective, so they won’t be biased by their emotions or relationship with you.

Talking, lots of talking

Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy, so you can expect a lot of talking. Your psychotherapist will guide you, ask questions, and help you dig deeper into your memories.

This is not always fun, and while you may have the idea that each session is supposed to help you feel better, sometimes it won’t. 

Chances are, you may end each session feeling really bad because recalling memories and changing behaviour is often difficult and at times overwhelming.

However, it will ultimately help you learn about yourself, and if you can face your fears you will be able to break through.


Something not many people understand is that psychotherapy isn’t only about talking. While the majority of your sessions will involve talking, whether it’s one on one with your therapist, in pairs, or in a group, you will also do other things besides that.

Depending on your psychotherapist’s recommendations and instructions, you can be asked to try journaling, meditation, practicing gratitude, and other activities that will help you practice what you learn in therapy in your day-to-day life. 

It’s going to take a while

Psychotherapy isn’t like taking cold medicine that may take effect and cure your cold in just a few days. It’s also not like surgery that will remove benign growth all at once.

Psychotherapy will be a lengthy process, and you may feel impatient at some point during treatment. However, ultimately psychotherapy will only be as long as you need it to.

Psychotherapists are there to help you help yourself, and gaining the skills to do that takes some time. In the end, though, it will be worth it.

More Resources

Psychotherapy isn’t something that you should be scared of. While it may not be fun or exciting most of the time, it’s going to help you learn about yourself and how to deal with your emotions.

For more medical resources, check out the list we have below: