During the first appointment, you and your therapist will work together to identify goals for the first few sessions. Your therapist will also ask about your history (particularly with respect to high-risk behaviors such as self-injury and suicide attempts, since these would need to be addressed first).

Standard information about therapy will also be provided so that you know what to expect. One of the goals of providing this information is to reduce apprehension and emotional distress related to the unknown.

Types of information typically addressed in the first appointment will include:

  • Therapist and client roles
  • Confidentiality and its limits
  • Frequency and length of sessions
  • Duration of treatment
  • Fees for session and if there are fees for missed or cancelled appointments.
  • DBT session structure, expectations and how they differ from other therapies (DBT diary cards, group, out of session skills coaching, DBT treatment contract, etc.)