What should I expect in getting started?
Generally when someone reaches out to set up therapy with me, we first cover logistics, such as scheduling and payments. Next, we would set up a 20 minute phone or in-person consultation in order to determine if we are the right fit. You can ask me any questions you have about the way I work or the therapy process. I can get to know your situation and determine if I would be able to meet the needs of what you’re seeking. If we decide it’s a good fit, I would give you information for completing initial paperwork in my client portal. Completion of that information confirms our first appointment. If we are not the best fit, I can offer referrals of other therapist that might be able to better meet your needs. The first few therapy appointments are better understanding your circumstances, gathering background information and setting goals for therapy.
I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own.
People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll guide you identifying what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
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 empower you to listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together explores the root of the issue, we dig deep into your behavior and identify strategies that can assist you in accomplishing your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
How long will it take?
I hear this question frequently from clients. Unfortunately, the answer is always it depends. It is so difficult to determine that. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. I find that attending consistently is also most beneficial and effective, otherwise we usually just end up playing catch up and don’t have as much time to get to the therapy work. Since we only see each other for a session a week, it’s mostly the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or couples therapy?
I only work with individual adults. If you are wanting to work on your relationship, it helps to work with someone who specializes in couples therapy. This is not my area of expertise. Based on your relationship concerns, we could work together to identify them and explore your part in those dynamics. Additionally, I could refer you to a couples counselor. Sometimes it helps for each person to be working in individual therapy and couples therapy at the same time. Though, I know that is not always an option. You may want to consider if you are wanting to prioritize changing your behavior/reactions in the relationship or prioritize what is happening between you and your partner.