Here are a few answers to some questions you might have regarding what to expect when you first contact me. I know that it can seem scary to start out on this journey and taking the first step is always the hardest, but change is closer than you think.
What can I expect if I call you? I'll ask a few questions to get to know you a bit, provide any information about my services and answer any questions that you have for me. If you want, we can schedule an appointment right away or we can wait. I'll follow up with an email outlining next steps, including your own access to my secure Client Portal where you can sign paperwork, schedule appointments and download payment invoices.
The first session? I'll try to answer as many questions on the phone as possible to ease any nerves or resolve any uncertainty about your first session. You will have already completed intake paperwork online, so we don't have to spend time combing through the details. Most sessions are 50 minutes long, but can be increased to 90 minutes if you wish. Based on your level of comfort, we will simply spend time exploring the concerns that led you to counseling and create goals for what you want to work on during therapy.
How will counseling work for me? Counseling is an ongoing, collaborative, confidential relationship between client and therapist that, when working well, allows clients to gain new insights on problems in their life. If clients are committed and engaged in therapy, it can provide new tools to cope with difficult emotions and new skills to navigate difficult relationships. While it isn't always easy or comfortable, it's often a necessary journey for clients to experience true healing.
How does couples counseling work? The first time we meet, I will get to know you, learn about the issues you are having in your relationship, and learn about your history as a couple. I will also ask you to complete an online relationship assessment after our first meeting. This assessment is approximately 480 questions and gives me a great deal of information about areas of concern in your relationship. The next time we meet, I will meet with each person in the couple individually to learn more about your personal background - we can do this in one 90 minute session, split into two 45 minute sessions, or 2 individual sessions scheduled at separate times. After this, you will come back together as a couple and we will start working on the issues that you are facing as a couple. There is no set amount of sessions that I see a couple - it really varies for each couple.