When something has rocked your life in such a way that you’re considering therapy you already feel vulnerable. Each therapist is different so what happens behind each door is personal and somewhat of a mystery. If you’re already feeling anxious about the decision, the unknown is enough to convince you that it’s all too much. It may be helpful for you to know a bit about what happens in my office.
I see therapy as a collaborative conversation. We work together to find tools and ways to solve your problem and get you to a healthier place. The first few visits are to get a history and build a relationship of trust. I will NEVER jump straight into trauma with a person. I find that disrespectful and contrary to my goal of not making therapy a space where you are retraumatized while trying to work through the past.
VISIT ONE: This visit varies a little bit. Often, I will take a history of the issue at hand. I will also take a thorough history including family history, work history, drug abuse/legal issues, personal and family psychological history and more. I have to be thorough to accommodate all variables and know what we are working with.
However, sometimes when a client comes in they’re entirely too nervous to do that. If I notice this, we will take some time to gently discuss what’s going on and how it’s affecting them. I ask if you’ve ever been in therapy before and we discuss past experiences in therapy. I’ll also clarify what to expect as we work together and answer any questions. We will work together to get you a little more comfortable where we can briefly discuss your history so that I can get to know you and what we’re working with a bit better.
AFTER THE FIRST APPOINTMENT: Once we finish the history, we will create a treatment plan- our road map for therapy. This helps you know what we are working on, how we are working on it, and what goals we need to meet before discharge from the therapy process. After a thorough history and creation of a treatment plan we get to work and start the process towards a psychologically healthier place.
You can rest secure that throughout the therapy process we work through open and honest communication, making changes to the process as we see fit as a team. We create a plan completely personalized to you by taking pieces and parts from the multiple kinds of therapy I do to choose the best interventions for you. You can read more about the types of therapies I do HERE. I utilize a program called Therachat to stay in touch outside of session and offer extra support, which most of my clients love. It is free to you and allows for HIPAA compliant messaging, sending homework, emotion tracking, and push notifications so you don’t forget things that we’ve agreed to do in session. I also try to offer extra perks like appointment reminders. I’m working hard all the time to ensure that my clients feel supported outside of therapy but also trusted that they can handle things on their own.
In therapy with me you can expect a personal relationship with a therapist who cares. I work hard to make sure that you feel heard and listened to and I’ll check in you often about your side of things. It is important that you know that healing is not linear. There will be setbacks. We expect them and you should never feel that I am disappointed, frustrated, or let down by these things. I work with you to take these as new information, learn from these incidents, and amend our plan for how we want to move forward.
Ultimately, what you can expect is a deeply personal process tailored to your specific needs with the best support available.