Letter to Therapy Client: Starting Your Therapy at Spence-Chapin


Seeking out therapy is not always easy. The search for finding a therapist can be hard. Putting aside the time and financial resources for therapy can also be a challenge. At Spence-Chapin, our therapists know that many people may have reason, both from the outside world and from inside themselves, that make them hesitant to take that first step to meet with a therapist. That’s why we have put together a Welcome Letter for our clients to provide them with an idea of what to expect when starting therapy for the first time or returning after a break. We want all of our clients to know that awaits you in therapy is the space to seek out understanding and healing, at a pace that feels right, and with a competent counselor to guide you through.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about our therapy services for the adoption community, please contact us. We’re here to help.


Dear New Client,

Welcome to the beginning of therapy. You have made an important choice for yourself—starting the process of exploring what brings you distress and wanting relief. Together, with your therapist, you will have a private space to wonder out loud and make connections between your past, present and important relationships.

If this is your first time in therapy, then this beginning may bring up a lot of questions. You may have heard or believe some of the myths about therapy or counseling that are out there: “It means something is wrong with you,” or, “Just don’t think about (insert problem here) and you’ll be fine.” Know that nothing is ‘wrong with you’ and not addressing the problem usually only makes it bigger in the long run. We all benefit from having someone to share our feelings with and help us make sense of the stresses that we face.

Other curiosities are about what happens in the room. You might wonder how “sitting on a couch (or on a telehealth video) talking about feelings” could help? You may wonder if you will ever really feel comfortable sharing your true thoughts with someone else? You might worry that a therapist will judge your choices or that maybe you don’t have enough to talk about. Those are all understandable concerns to have. We will help you take therapy at the right pace for you. You and your therapist will build a relationship, and you can expect her to really get to know who you are. We believe it is not for us to judge, but to help you make sense of your own experience. You might cry in therapy, you will also laugh. You will leave sessions feeling you have made great strides and sometimes you will worry progress isn’t coming quick enough. Your therapist will be your partner in this journey.

If you are returning to therapy, this marks an important step. You may feel like you know what you need out of therapy now. You know what it is like to work with a therapist, and you may have both positive and negative experiences with therapy before. We want to hear what coming to therapy was like for you before. We are ready to continue what you have found useful and repair what wasn’t.

Here, you can ask any question and tell us anything on your mind. We have worked with many clients and our focus is on helping people who have a connection to adoption. We have heard so many unique stories and life experiences. You can expect us to be kind to you, listen to your perspective and work with you to provide relief to your concerns. Our first step is to create a trusting environment. You may be nervous about beginning this journey, you might be looking forward to this start. We are glad you have made the decision to work with us. We cannot wait to get to know you.


The Therapy Team

Amy, Christine, Clara, Gladys & Leslie

To find out more contact us at

212-400-8150 or email us at info@spence-chapin.org.