While the average length of clinical treatment is 5 to 8 sessions, most people who are seeking therapy come to a particular therapist only once. Having the right diagnosis and effective treatment approach can mean next to nothing if the therapist fails to connect with the person seeking treatment. The pressure is on in that first session. People need to leave their first session believing they have found the Right Place and the Right Person. And the therapist must make this connection in 60 minutes or less.

In this web conference, Robert Taibbi, LCSW will discuss the essential art of the first therapy session. Drawing on the lessons of sales, with an awareness of the ever-more discerning expectations of people seeking therapy, he will walk participants through the process and goals of the first session. This presentation will examine ways of changing the emotional climate so those seeking therapy feel differently when they walk out of a session than when they walked in. Bob will also define the critical skills clinicians need to stay focused and will outline the three parts of the first session: the opening, the assessment, and the presentation of the treatment plan and next steps.

Clinicians who attend this event will learn how to handle objections, how to use treatment maps to hit the ground running, how to achieve balance with couples and families, and how to recognize and use transference cues with individuals. The idea is to learn what to do, but probably more importantly, what not to do in order to make the first session the best it can be. 

This introductory, instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians: 

  1. Define four ways of changing the emotional climate.
  2. Describe the process for countering objections.
  3. List the seven goals of the first session.
  4. Define four sources of resistance in therapy.
  5. Describe five ways of building rapport with new clients.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Attendees who register for this event will log in to the web conference center by using a computer and calling in to the teleconference line. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via computer. Live streaming video and/or document sharing will also be available to participants. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions. Attendees may also access the web conference on a smartphone or tablet. 

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable.

At the conclusion of this event, you will receive an email with information about how to request a CE certificate. You will need to enter the start and end codes that will be announced at the beginning and end of the presentation. These codes confirm that you attended the entire event. You will be prompted to complete a survey. You will need to complete this online survey within six days of the event. Once you complete the survey, you can download a copy of your CE certificate instantly

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety. GoodTherapy.org is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services.

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

This organization, GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 30, 2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive two clinical continuing education clock hours.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to GoodTherapy.org members.

Event Reviews from Members

As an experienced therapist, this presentation really helped me conceptualize the first session from a business perspective. - Lisa Shouldice MA, RP, CCP

This presentation had great specific suggestions about how to connect with client/clients in the first session. - Kun-Hong Lu, LISW

​Great techniques for changing the emotional state of clients. - Surinder Harish, MA, LMFT

Meet the Presenter

Robert Taibbi, LCSW

A clinician, supervisor, and clinical director, Robert Taibbi, LCSW has spent over 40 years working in community mental health with couples and families. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Rutgers University and has served as an adjunct professor at several universities. 

This continuing education web conference will discuss material from Bob's most recent publication, The Art of the First Session: Making Psychotherapy Count from the Start. He is also the author of several  other books—Clinical Supervision: A Four-Stage Process of Growth and Discovery; Clinical Social Work Supervision: Practice & Process; Doing Couples Therapy: Craft and Creativity in Work with Intimate Partners; Doing Family Therapy: Craft and Creativity in Clinical Practice, and the forthcoming Brief Therapy with Couples & Families. Bob has also contributed chapters to several books, among them Favorite Counseling and Therapy Techniques: 51 Masters Share Their Strategies, which listed him as one of the top therapists nationwide. Bob has also published over 300 journal and magazine articles, written for a teen advice column in Current Health, and served as a contributing editor for Your Health and Fitness. His writing has earned him national writing awards for Best Consumer Health Writing on three occasions.

Bob offers national and international trainings in brief therapy, family therapy, and couples therapy, as well as clinical supervision. For more information about Bob and his work, please visit www.bobtaibbi.com.

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