Your First Appointment
New patients can expect to talk about the concern(s) that brought you into counseling and also about your background and personal history. This will help to get a better understanding of you and your environment, family, coping mechanisms, social history, and more. You can also expect to have some brief paperwork to fill out.
Please complete and bring the following forms to your first appointment:
How do I know when it is time to see a marital therapist or individual counselor? (from Marriage Counseling & Therapy Network)
The very fact that you are reading this creates a likelihood that the time is near. Here are several questions for you to contemplate:
- Do you feel that you can love and be loved in the ways you desire?
- Does it seem to you or your partner that you are having the same argument over and over again?
- Do you feel that your marriage could benefit from better communication?
- Do you feel that you are able to set and achieve the goals you desire or are you feeling blocked in some way?
- Is there something that “just nags at you” something that you know needs to be addressed but just haven’t found the time or courage to address?
- So you feel that your marriage would be better if some things were changed?
- Are you tired of having the same conversation about something over and over in your head, with your friends, or spouse, and yet nothing seems to ever change?
Most issues that people bring to therapy are related to one or more of these questions. If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are probably struggling in your life and could benefit from quality individual therapy, or marriage counseling….. it’s time.
Why should I seek therapy?
People seek counseling for a variety of reasons including feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, worried, anxious, sad, or angry. People also seek out counseling to help change behaviors that are troubling them such as addictions or behaviors that affect their relationships at home or at work. It is also common to seek therapy when there is a relationship that is in conflict or facing challenges. Some people seek counseling because they have a life goal that has been not been met and want assistance on how to meet that long time goal and feel fulfilled. Other people seek out counseling because they know they are going through a difficult time or facing a difficult decision and they desire a place to sort through their feelings and move forward in their life with purpose and clear thinking.
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.
How does counseling help?
When a counseling relationship is working well, clients experience new insights into their situations, clearer thinking, increased energy, better understanding of their feelings and needs, release of troubling emotions that have held them back or been confusing, and a greater sense of wholeness and peace within themselves. Therapy is a process and a working partnership develops between client and therapist. Clients should feel comfortable with their therapist and feel comfortable asking questions regarding the process.
Is what I say confidential?
Yes. All client-therapist conversations are private and confidential. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I strictly follow the professional ethical standards of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Only in rare cases when the safety of a client or others is at risk can disclosure of confidential client-therapist information take place.
How long does a counseling session take?
Sessions are typically scheduled for 50 minutes and most people should see their therapist at least once a week for consistent progress to be made. I believe consistency is key to a successful therapeutic relationship. After progress has been made, sessions are typically every other week and become more spread out within time.
How does teletherapy work?
While it is possible to do teletherapy via email or phone, contemporary telemental health sessions typically use video chat.
The therapeutic process is similar to in-person therapy. It usually begins with a few initial sessions during which the therapist and client get to know one another and discuss treatment goals. After that, the therapist may dig more deeply into the client’s issues, make recommendations for behavioral changes, and encourage the client to reflect on their emotions.
The therapist may ask the client to take steps to ensure confidentiality. These might include:
– logging on from a private network
– keeping their computer locked to prevent others from viewing the session
– accessing therapy via an encrypted therapy platform
Clients should also ask their therapists what specific steps they take to protect client confidentiality and prevent third parties from viewing sessions or session notes.