What To Expect
If you've never been in therapy before, it can feel daunting to call and to come in for the first time. You may not know what to expect, and I'd like to give you an idea of how the process unfolds. Before calling in, I encourage you to look at some possible factors in your life that might contribute to how you are feeling. Sometimes, medical issues and lifestyle habits can affect you emotionally, and examining these issues and habits can help you decide whether you need therapy and if so, what sort of therapy you need. I've written a blog post to help you get started with sorting through these things, here.
When you call me, we can have a twenty minute conversation, otherwise known as the free phone consultation. During this time, I'll ask you a little bit about yourself- such as what in your life brings you to call me right now, and what you are looking for in therapy. I'll ask you to tell me what you'd like me to know about your history. Then you will ask me the things you would like to know about me. You can find some commonly asked questions and answers on my Policies/FAQs page. If you have more questions, you can ask me those during this part of the conversation.
Like all relationships, the one between you and your therapist has to feel good to you in the beginning. If it doesn't feel right, it is okay to call other therapists until you have a good feeling about it. After our phone conversation, you and I will both decide whether we feel like enough of a match to try out an initial, paid therapy session, and we will schedule a session from there.
There are some forms (the Informed Consent form, the Disclosure Statement, and the New Client Information Form) you can fill out before the initial session, or you can wait until you see me. Some of these forms are about you and your history, and others are about my policies and our therapy relationship. It is after the initial session that we can decide whether you want to continue, and if so, what the next step is. Some people want to come in for an indefinite amount of time, others want a finite amount of sessions, and still others will set up four or five just to see how it goes. I will work with your needs on this.
People usually experience a great feeling of relief in the first session from having been able to unload their burden to someone else, especially someone who will take it in without judging them, and who helps people overcome similar burdens. I want you to know that I understand that taking this first step is not always easy, and I will treat you with respect and understanding.