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Tips for seeing a Psychiatrist


For individuals that have, or wish to be, diagnosed with a mental, emotional, or behavioural disorder – speaking to a psychiatrist can be a key step in handling, dealing with and controlling thoughts and behavioural patterns in the hope of living more comfortably and confidently. 

There is a long list of benefits of online psychiatry, but we know how daunting your first psychiatry appointment can be. That’s why Claimont Health have written this article that covers key tips for talking to a psychiatrist, including: 

  • What to expect from a psychiatry session 
  • How to prepare for a psychiatry session 
  • How to talk and properly communicate with a psychiatrist
  • What to do after your psychiatry session 
  • Finding the right psychiatrist options for you 


What to expect at your first visit to a psychiatrist. 

If you’ve decided to go and see a psychiatrist for the first time, you’ve taken a huge step forward. The hard part of asking for help is already done, so you should be proud of that.

We know seeing a psychiatrist can be daunting, but knowing what to expect can make it so much less frightening. 

If you’ve made the courageous decision to go and see a psychiatrist, keep reading to find out what to expect from your first psychiatry appointment, along with a few tips to help you along the way. 


1. Conquer the nerves 

Our first tip for seeing a psychiatrist – don’t let nerves get in the way of your recovery. 

You’ve already taken a significant step by seeking help from a psychiatrist, so don’t cancel your appointment just because you’re feeling nervous, it will take you back to square one. 

Psychiatrists are trained and skilled individuals with a wealth of expertise in providing clinical diagnoses, and in certain circumstances, offering medication management to treat various different mental health conditions.  

If you cancel your first appointment, you will keep going around in circles, and before you know it, it’ll be years before you manage to get help. 


2. Prepare for your first psychiatry appointment

What happens in your first psychiatry session all depends on you and your symptoms. You can expect your psychiatrist to ask your reason for going to see them. It’s best to be completely honest and transparent, this way you can get the treatment that’s better tailored to you. Remember, your psychiatrist is there to help you, not judge you. 

It’s pretty likely that sensitive questions will be asked, maybe some more than others, but your answer should always be honest and transparent regardless. It’s a good idea for you to have answers to sensitive questions prepared and keep them in the back of your mind, this way you won’t struggle to explain your feelings when the time comes. 

It may be useful for the psychiatrist if you collate notes about your feelings over the days or weeks coming up to your appointment, again, it avoids the possibility of you struggling to explain your situation to the psychiatrist. 

Depending on what your situation is, you may need to make your psychiatrist aware of any past diagnosed conditions, treatments or medications you have been on. Before your appointment, put together a list of any medications you have taken, if you can’t remember the name, try to find the box and take that with you. 


3. Don’t be afraid of showing emotion

It’s a psychiatrist’s job to help people with mental conditions and personal issues they wish to overcome. This means that they see emotional people every single day! Don’t be afraid to cry, get embarrassed or even be upset during your psychiatry session. 

Being honest and sharing your problems takes a lot of strength. It can feel emotionally exhausting, especially if you’ve suppressed your emotions for quite a long time. 

It’s worth noting that some of the questions you may be asked may bring up some issues that are hard to talk about, such as past trauma, abuse or family problems. Just remember that you don’t need to talk about it until you’re ready to, just let your psychiatrist know that certain elements can be difficult to openly discuss and they will help you do so.


4. Be patient

Healing takes time, you and your psychiatrist will work together to find a plan for the future, but this may not happen in the first session. The last thing you want is for the process to be rushed, leaving you back where you started. Take your time, be patient, and begin to work through each problem you have one at a time – doing so will make all the difference. 


5. Consider online psychiatry

If you don’t feel ready to do therapy in person, there are options available for everyone. You can begin with online psychiatry to build comfort or familiarity with the process. Online therapy can provide you with a quick, reachable and reliable route to get treatment and recommendations for dealing with mental health conditions.


What to do after your first psychiatry appointment

Quite often, people leave their first psychiatry session and they will remember things that they wished they would have spoken or asked about. Be sure to note these down and take them to your next appointment. 

Stay motivated. Sometimes the first session can feel like there is a long road ahead and you may not feel much better after it, but it’s actually the most important appointment in your recovery journey. 


Find the right psychiatrist for you

After your first session, you may not feel as comfortable as you could have done. This is totally normal, and most of the time it’s no fault of the psychiatrist. 

It’s vital to ensure you use a psychiatrist that you feel totally comfortable with and to be sure that you can trust them with your problems or any particular condition you have, whether that’s been fully diagnosed or you have an idea of what you are struggling with. 

Your psychiatrist won’t take offence if you decide to see someone else, so don’t be afraid to tell them, they will be used to it, and they also want the best for you. 

If you feel like in-person therapy isn’t for you, you could try online psychiatry, it’s just the same as normal psychiatry, except it’s done online, via a laptop, computer or another device. 


We are here to help

At Claimont, we understand that taking the first steps to going to therapy are not easy. If you have any questions or would like more information, you can contact our Clinical Psychiatry Team on 020 3941 2000.