I’m nervous. I’ve never done this before. What can I expect at my first appointment?
Our first appointment is a comprehensive mental health assessment that is meant to help us clarify what problems you are (or are not) facing, to be sure you are at the right place and that we are a good match for beginning our work together. I can make any other potential referrals, recommendations and determine how to work (as a couple, individual or family) as well as how often and how long our work may be depending on this assessment and your goals for therapy.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way – teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” The therapy relationship is a universally unique one that does not exist anywhere else!
Why not just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat symptoms. Our work together is designed to treat all the other things medication can not change and to explore and treat the root of what is giving rise to your symptoms in the first place.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does this work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my approach to your specific needs and goals.
How long will it take?
Everyone’s circumstances are unique and the length of time therapy can take depends on your desire, commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place. To get the most out of your therapy I would suggest committing to at least 6-8 sessions (minimum) but understand some people attend a handful of times, to off and on over the course of years, to weekly/bi-weekly for several months. It truly depends on what you are trying to accomplish and how close to the goal you want to get with my help.
I want to get the most out of my therapy. What can I do to help?
Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week at most. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development. Some people want to limit this work to their sessions and others want things to work on outside of session. This part is largely up to you and the pace you choose.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we come in separately or together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you going forward. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.