This article is intended to be of help two two kinds of people.
Individuals who are looking to attend their first therapy session will learn what to expect as they start therapy.
People who have experienced counseling before will find details about my approach to therapy.
While all good therapists follow certain practices, like everyone else we have our own personalities and preferences. I hope you'll find we're a good match.
Before The First Session
You can schedule an appointment with me using the schedule now or book now buttons on the web pages. You can also schedule by phone, text, or email.
After you request an appointment I will confirm the date and time, and I will send you information on directions. My office is located near the intersection of Buford HWY and Cheshire Bridge Rd.
I'll also send you some paperwork you can fill out prior to your first appointment. The forms ask for basic information like date of birth, address, and counseling history. Other forms describe office policies.
What To Expect In Your First Sessions
Psychotherapy is intended to provide a safe environment for you to discuss, explore, and resolve problems or struggles in your life.
The process works best when you talk freely about what is going on in your life (events), in your body (sensations), and in your mind (thoughts or emotions). Sometimes these thoughts are scary to confront or admit.
Sometimes you may worry about what I'm thinking about you. While it is normal to have these concerns, rest assured that therapy is a place where you will not be judged.
Whatever you bring up you'll find me an eager and understanding listener.
Be prepared in the first session to tell me about your past experiences with therapy counseling--what has or hasn't worked in the past. If you've never been in therapy before, then tell me about your assumptions and expectations for our meetings.
In the first few sessions we will discuss your goals and concerns for therapy. We will also discuss treatment expectations. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and change the focus if you want to shorten your time in counseling.
What To Expect From A Therapist
As a therapist, my priorities are listening, understanding, and earning your trust.
My goal is to understand what it is like to be in your shoes and to see the world through your eyes.
I always aim to listen non-judgmentally. I'm not here to punish people or make them feel guilty. Rather I want you to know that I'll support you through the good times and bad and that I'm always on your side.
One misunderstanding some people have about therapy is that they expect the therapist to solve problems for them. I generally don't do that.
During the course of our time together you may face big decisions and changes in your life. You are always in control of your own life.
My job is to help you see the pros and cons of decisions and to help point out any blinders or assumptions you may be making. If you are stuck, I will help you get unstuck. I will always try to help you reach your goals.
I generally let clients decide what we will talk about each meeting. We'll often veer off onto other topics. I will offer challenges or interpretations of things I hear, and I will ask you questions to be sure I'm understanding what you're saying.
How Many Sessions Will Therapy Last?
I generally use well researched and proven treatment methods in my practice.
Sometimes supporters of a particular method will promise a cure in 6, 10, or 12 sessions. Many clients do find fast results with counseling and therapy.
Many clients, however, present with more complicated problems or personal histories. For that reason, 12-20 sessions is not uncommon. And, yes, some clients do spend a year or more in therapy.
You are the final judge of if therapy is working or not.
You are free to stop at any time, but I ask that if you get the feeling that you're ready to stop, please tell me first.
It is better if we can prepare for ending our sessions and arrange for a smooth transition out of therapy.
It is also helpful for me if you let me know what you feel has worked for you or helped you out the most. I learn and grow from your feedback.
How To Ask More Questions
If you have further questions beyond the information presented, please send me a note by clicking on the button below. A form will open where you can fill in your information and question.