HOW IT WORKS
First off, something prompted you to head over to the internet and begin a search. Some pressure had been building over time or some event has recently happened in your life and a change is needed. You may have even tried a few tactics, but your not getting the results wanted.
Yet the thought of therapy, of having to sit and talk to a perfect stranger and pour your heart out to this person is less than appealing. These thoughts are 100% okay and totally normal and to help ease these worries I have laid out the following brief overview of what you can expect.
What should I expect before my first visit?
When you set up an appointment with me either through a quick consultation or directly through my website, my system is set up in such a way that you can expect the first time paperwork to be made available to you over the internet through my secure web-portal. This is the usual paperwork you would need to fill out for any clinical office visit and I do this to speed up the process and allow you to take action ahead of time so that when you show up, we can just jump right in. You can also use the web portal to see any billing questions or to change, schedule or cancel and future sessions.
What should I expect on my first visit?
The first visit is typically an hour long with later sessions usually being around 45 minutes. This first time visit is an opportunity to get to know each other and for you to ask me any questions you may have. There are some legal and ethical statements that I have to review with you and I usually go into a series of questions looking at your cultural and educational background, health history, family history, work and educational background and of course, current matters. This helps me understand your background and world better. There will of course be a specific focus on what’s happening right here and now and I make a point to give you something, even if it is small, to address any immediate concerns.
How frequently will I come in for sessions and for how long?
In order for sessions to be effective, I have found that initially, therapy sessions need to be weekly for at least six sessions. We mutually agree on a day and time that works best and I reserve that for you. As progress is made and initial goals are met it is not uncommon for other goals to be set or we may decide that you come in less frequently for a limited period of time to ensure the sustainability of skills learned. Most individuals I work with are able to accomplish their initial goals and report doing better within 6-12 sessions spread out over three to six months (78%).
What is the aim of your approach?
My biggest goal in working with clients is to make sure they are getting exactly what they need out of our work together. I try to find a balance of being both structured in the work that we do but also flexible to accommodate the changing needs of every individual client. I work with you to help you understand what you are think and feeling and reconnect you back to your body so that you can recognize emotions as they are happening and step away from them. I also work with you to identify negative patterns - the rules and tools running in the background - that you have developed naturally over time. Once we can see aspects and reconnect, your are free of their influence and they no longer have the same effect.
The main aim of my practice is in increasing your level of awareness so that you can recognize what’s really happening when these negative patterns start to show up and know what matters so you can move forward, no longer stuck.
Do I have to do anything between sessions?
To get the most out of our time and your investment into your health I will often customize assignments for you as they relate to your therapy goals. I may recommend that you read a particular book, buy a workbook, complete daily worksheets, watch pertinent videos or check out a website. Doing work in between sessions reinforces new ideas that we discuss in sessions and brings a “flow” to the process as it moves along.
With these assignments, I also encourage you to bring a notebook/journal to your sessions. (You can also use a phone application found here). By using these items, you will have a reference source for what we talked about in session and are encouraged to write down challenging times between sessions so that they can be discussed. I am an analytical and integral thinker, which means I love the details and all the data to help me get a sense of the a big picture.
How does therapy help?
First off, where else can you go where you are provided with a safe, confidential place for you to process your pain and work on your unique challenges? Unlike your friends and family, I have the clinical training and the added experience of listening to individual's deepest thoughts for years which allows me the ability to not only effectively listen to you from a non-judgmental, unbiased position, but also to help guide you towards a deeper understanding of the underlying issues.
Second, therapy has been scientifically proven to be effective, especially the theoretical approaches I have selected, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which have years of evidenced based research to back them up.
And finally, there is power in talking with, analyzing and sharing your story and struggles with a trained clinician. The secrets and thoughts that you keep inside can become powerful and controlling. Once you’ve identified these aspects of yourself, once you can see your personal stories, you then become free to choose a different path. Change happens when you begin to connect what you are thinking and feeling to what you are doing in your life. All of it is important- your thoughts, your emotions, and your behaviors- and therapy is where we can connect the dots and empower you to make lasting change in your life.
What are the benefits of therapy?
People seek out therapy for many reasons. Sometimes there has been a stressful event that prompts a person to reach out for therapeutic support. Other people seek therapy to simply have a personal, safe, judgment-free space to discuss various life issues.
The results of therapy can include:
Better sense of self-confidence and esteem
Learning concrete strategies to better manage stress and symptoms related to anxiety and depression
Clarity related to life purpose and direction
Better and more fulfilling relationships
Greater ability to communicate assertively with others and resolve conflicts
Ability to set boundaries
Developing a compassionate and loving relationship with yourself
Regaining emotional balance