What to expect for your first session?
It is normal to feel some anxiety when you’re about to begin therapy. I want to assure you, I do everything possible to make you feel comfortable in the therapy room.
Therapists are required to gather some information before starting the therapy process. Before we meet, you will receive an intake packet through your secure client portal, so I can immediately explore your therapeutic needs. Furthermore, filling out the intake packet beforehand helps focus more of the time on the therapy session.
The first session is considered an intake session. I want to know more about you or your relationship. I will gather lots of information. Some of the areas I explore are the history of your life/relationship while asking about major events (good and bad) to get to know you on a deeper level.
Although I do not spend too much time focused on your past during therapy, the first session is dedicated to understanding the experiences that make you who you are.
I will offer tools, guidance, resources, and suggestions to help you sort out your life challenges or relationship issues. Take what you need and leave out what you don’t need. That’s your decision, I respect your ability to make choices. If nothing fits, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. That means I change my approach.
How often do we meet for therapy?
Consistency and commitment bring the best results.
In the beginning, clients typically come in weekly for the first few months. It’s best to set a scheduled time each week, but life happens and it isn’t always realistic to meet at the scheduled time. If you can’t schedule a set time, no problem. We can choose a time to meet after each session.
Occasionally, people attend therapy more often and may come once or twice a week for an hour. Others prefer less frequent visits, but longer sessions.
How are therapy sessions?
Therapy can range from 60 – 120 minutes. Research reports couples benefit the most from 90-minute sessions. Some clients or couples do weekly 60-minute sessions. Others feel 60 minutes isn’t enough time and prefer 90 or 120 minutes. This is nothing you must decide from the start. Together, we can assess and figure out the best course of action for you.
Actionable skills to apply between sessions?
At the end of our sessions, I provide you an “out of session experiment” or “focus.” These are tasks in-between sessions that invite change through behavioral, emotional, and communicational alterations in the way individuals relate to their problems and each other.
Through therapy and experiments, individuals or couples will learn how to let get of ineffective ways of interacting and how to establish workable solutions.
By discovering and practicing strategies for the effective handling of problems in your life or relationship, you will learn skills to take home and maintain in the future
How long will it take?
It depends. Some couples or individuals seek therapy for a few months to get support during a difficult time in their lives or need help getting unstuck from negative patterns in their life or relationship. Once they feel a sense of relief, clients may choose to end therapy or phase out by attending bi-weekly sessions then monthly sessions to maintain gains. Occasionally I may see them months later for a “check-up” to ensure progress has not been lost.
Others may want to take an in-depth look at themselves or their relationships and will require longer term therapy. They may have experiences in their past that are interfering with their ability to feel happy and fulfilled. If there is a trauma history in the relationship or individual, therapy can take longer than a few months.
Some clients may attend therapy for a few years as they do intermittent therapy. Others may only come a few months for a specific issue, while others may take a break and return when they are ready or if something else comes up.
There are a lot of different therapy arrangements and I offer flexibility so you can choose what works best for you. I trust clients can make their own decisions about the time commitments they invest in therapy, and of course I am always here to give my recommendations too