What to Expect from Therapy
There are many different ways to do “therapy”- so not all therapists will be the same!
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." -Scott Peck
Can therapy can be helpful to anyone - not just people with major mental health issues?
Therapy is useful to a wide range of people! Therapy is a great chance to explore how to get the most out of your life and develop the tools you need to express and understand your thoughts, feelings, and actions in a positive way. In fact, because my office is in a private practice/out patient setting, those suffering from dangerous or severe degrees of emotional stress (such as psychotic symptoms) will be referred to higher and more appropriate levels of care than I currently provide.
What should I do first?
The first step is to make a phone call to schedule and discuss in more detail your reasons for seeking therapy so I can answer any questions you might have. On the phone we will discuss if I can provide you with the services you need. If for some reason my services are not a good fit, I will give you referrals for other therapists or mental health services. If therapy does seem like a good fit, we will then schedule an appointment, and I will send you appropriate forms and information to be filled out prior to the first session (which can also be found on this website under the "Resources and Contact Info" tab).
What should I expect when I come to an appointment?
The first 2-3 sessions are usually a "get to know you" time, where we both continue to see if therapy is a good fit. During this time we will collect information about challenges, strengths, and family history. We will also work to build goals and address your expectation of therapy. If therapy involves treatment of a minor, depending on the age, the sessions will involve the parents and child/ren, as well as child-only sessions (if you and/or the child feels comfortable to do so). Usually after the 3rd or 4th session a parent update session (generally without the child) will be provided to discuss issues, address therapeutic plan, and assess if additional referrals are needed (such as psychological testing).
Each session will be 50 mins unless otherwise discussed. Payments should be made during each visit. All cancellations must be made 24 hours prior to the session to avoid charges for missed appointments.
How long should therapy take?
It depends. The goal for most therapy is to not need therapy. Some people find that they only need 10-15 sessions to really work on specific issue or problem. Other times therapy may take longer, such as a 6 months to a year. Generally it is recommended that therapy start with weekly sessions. Also, some people find that on-going therapy is a useful way to stay on top of their emotional health, and may continue to come in for an emotional "check-up" on an as-needed basis once regular therapy services are no longer needed.
How can I get the most out of therapy?
Try your best to come regularly to appointments. Avoid too many cancelations. Children generally do better with routines so inconsistant attendance is not recommended. Continue to work outside of the session - especially when it comes to ”homework”. Come to your session prepared - reflect on what you many want to discuss or address during the session. Some clients find it helpful to keep a journal to track feelings and goals. Remember therapy is only 50 mins in the 24 hrs that make up your day!!