What to Expect with Therapy
Taking the step to work with a counselor - often times a complete stranger - can be a very intimidating experience. It's important to understand that therapy is a confidential (few caveats) relationship, established between therapist and client.
Many clients come to their first session, not knowing what exactly they should expect. "Will we be focusing on trauma during my childhood?" "Will I be asked to lie down on a chaise sofa?" All of these concerns, and similar, may be explained by our natural "fear of the unknown." Trust me, it gets better!
Regardless of what kind of therapy you are interested in (See Services), the basic steps of the process will include:
The first session is essentially a "meet and greet," where you will complete paperwork, and meet with me to tell me about you, briefly let me know what brings you to therapy, and let me know what you hope to gain from therapy. In addition to me learning about you, this is also the first step in you getting to know me.
The First Few Sessions
Unfortunately, there is no "magic wand" to treating many of our challenges. In the first few sessions, we will meet weekly to get to know one another better, and go into greater detail about what your specific concerns are. We will discuss a treatment plan and begin the process of working towards accomplishing the steps in the treatment plan, and meeting the goals of each step.
Working Through the Treatment Plan
Therapy can bring up sensitive topics. This is normal and these topics can often times be the source of issues. It's important to address these issues, and process them, so that you can move past them.
After the first few sessions, we will re-evaluate the frequency of sessions, and continue to work towards goals established in the treatment plan.
Similar to school, therapy often incorporates homework assignments; it's difficult to accomplish everything within a 1-hour session. You may be asked to complete a journal, work on a handout, or contemplate something that was discussed in a previous session to be analyzed during the next session.
Once the treatment plan goals have been met, we may decide that therapy is complete. This may mean that you can opt out of continuing care, but you may also want to maintain a relationship, and stop by once a month, or once every other month. This is perfectly normal, and is something we can discuss once we reach this point in your treatment.