The First call
Sometimes it is difficult to pick up the phone and ask for help. Making the first phone call is a brave act of courage. Therapy is a major investment, both emotionally and financially, so I will do my best to make you feel comfortable and at ease. During the initial phone call, I will gather information from you, ask you what type of help you are seeking, and we will make sure that we are a good fit to work together. We will then decide on a day and time to have our first initial session.
If you reach my voicemail, please leave a message. I will call you back within 24 hours to schedule a consultation or appointment.
During the initial call, I will request your email address and send you a link to my online portal so that you can conveniently complete the intake paperwork prior to our first session.
Please review this information carefully, as it has important information that pertains to your treatment in therapy. It will also give me an opportunity to review some of the information you'd like me to know about you before we meet.
The first session
The first session, and sometimes the second session, is spent exploring what brings you to therapy and how I can support you as you begin the healing process. We will review your paperwork, discuss your therapy goals, and clarify any questions or concerns you may have about therapy, me, or my practice. This first session also allows us the opportunity to get to know one another and determine whether working together is a good fit. During this initial phase, we will discuss a plan to move forward. Together, we will establish goals for your growth.
It is usually recommended that we begin with weekly sessions, lasting 50 minutes each. It is helpful if you come to each session with something you would like to process or explore and we go from there. Sometimes it is hard to know what you want to talk about in therapy, and if so, I will help guide you.
Through therapy, people are often able to gain a greater awareness of themselves and their experiences, and how these experiences impact and shape you as a person. In therapy, you control what you would like to discuss and achieve. You are often able to process your feelings and emotions and gain new skills to help overcome challenging situations and circumstances.
The counseling process truly varies from person to person, and situation to situation. Counseling can be short-term, and you may notice your goals met in 4-6 sessions. Sometimes, the counseling process can take anywhere from 8-20 sessions before you notice change. This, of course, depends on your motivation and the efforts that you apply between our sessions together.
I recommend for clients to begin therapy weekly, as this will allow us to create an alliance and establish momentum toward your goals. We will gradually shift to bi-monthly sessions as we continue to explore progress and goals. It is important for you to know that you will experience more noticeable effects when you engage in more frequent sessions.
You will typically know when you have reached a point where you feel you no longer need to come to therapy. I am very transparent with clients about discussing this and checking in with you to make sure you feel our work is on track with the goals we have established.
What happens next?
Your sessions with me are confidential, and I do not discuss anything with anyone, unless you provide written consent to release information.
There are a few exceptions:
- If I suspect abuse/neglect of a child or elder adult, or you tell me of abuse/neglect of a child or elder adult that has not been reported, I am mandated by law to report this information.
- If you threaten serious bodily harm to another person, I am required to notify the police.
- If you inform me of your intent to harm yourself, I will make every effort to work with you to ensure your safety. However, if you do not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.