The Basics of Getting Started in Therapy
In your first session, we will talk about what is bringing you in for therapy and start defining goals for our work together. This will be a mix of you expressing what you think I need to know and me asking more details about your background and situation. Sometimes this process takes a bit longer, depending on your circumstances, so we may spend up to 3 sessions in this initial phase of getting to know one another. Since a strong relationship is essential for successful therapy (and no one size fits all!), we will see if we are a good fit for working together and make a plan for moving forward. You can read more about what to expect from your first therapy session by checking out the article that I wrote here.
During ongoing sessions, I will want to know what will be most helpful to you from each session. When you arrive, you may either start by just talking about whatever is on your mind and we will go from there, or I may focus us with a gentle question such as, "what would be most helpful for us to talk about today?". I believe that therapy is a collaboration between you and me, and that it only yields results when we are both giving 100% toward your goals. I will be listening closely but I will be talking too. We will be having an honest conversation about where you are and where you want to go. There may be "homework" in between sessions if appropriate to your situation.
Most clients benefit from coming weekly while gaining traction over their problem and actively pursuing the change they are working toward. This phase of weekly treatment may be briefer or longer depending on your situation. Weekly sessions allows us to get to know one another at a consistent pace and actually be able to get "underneath" whatever is going on for you, instead of spending sessions with simple updates about what has been happening in daily life. When we both feel that you have entered more of a "maintenance" phase with making changes, we may discuss switching to a biweekly schedule for continued sessions. Frequency of sessions as most beneficial for you will be an important discussion during your first appointment.