WHAT TO EXPECT
Taking care of your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical health. However, working through painful topics can be stressful. Psychotherapy is much like physical therapy in that it is uncomfortable at first, but if you work on session topics consistently between appointments you will notice improvements over time.
Your first session is called an intake session. It does not look like a traditional session. During the intake, we will go over consent forms, policies and procedures. We will verbally review informed consent, including the limits of confidentiality. I will ask you about your past history in many areas to better understand factors contributing to your distress. This will help me come to a diagnosis, which serves to guide me in considering which treatments to use. Once the intake is completed, we will work to identify goals for treatment, or what you want to get out of therapy. Goals will serve as our roadmap to keep us on track in therapy and help both you and I determine when therapy has reached its conclusion.
After the intake session, typical therapy session will follow a general flow including check-ins, agenda setting, actual therapy work, out-of-practice assignments, review, and scheduling. Once distress is reduced and goals have been reached, we will space out appointments to prepare for termination of treatment.
Couple therapy (offered on a vary limited basis) looks slightly different. The intake evaluation takes three sessions with a fourth session dedicated to receiving the results of the assessment. The first session will include both partners. The second and third sessions will be between one partner and the therapist. Standard sessions will include both partners and we will work on relationship problems. As with individual therapy, once goals are reached sessions will be spaced out until the couple is ready to terminate.