Getting started in therapy
Taking the first step can be intimidating. I would like to make this process as safe for you as possible. So let me tell you what to expect:
First call my voice mail or email me and let me know that you are looking into counseling. I will give you a call back and we will talk for a few minutes. This first conversation gives us a chance to get to know each other and we can talk about some basic business up front. If you decide to take the next step, we will set up an appointment to meet. Before you are ready to set the first appointment, you might have questions about fees and using insurance. Please scroll down to see the payment portion of this page.
There are usually a number of forms to complete before your first session. You can access these forms online, fill them out and bring them to your first appointment. Or you can come in 5 minutes before your session and I will leave the forms for you to complete in the waiting room.
Our sessions are 50 – 55 minutes in length. We usually wrap things up after 50 min and then we have a few minutes to process payment and to set a follow-up appointment.
The purpose of the first session is for us to get to know each other. I would love to hear your story, to learn about what prompted you to seek therapy and to talk about your goals. You will have a chance to see my office, to get to know me and to hear more about how I do therapy. By the end of our first session, we should have a good idea about whether we will work well together. If you prefer to shop around and meet with some other therapists, I will be happy to give you some referrals to colleagues I respect. I believe it’s really important for us to have a good relationship if we are going to work well together. So I value your input and will not be offended if you chose not to continue beyond session 1.
Length of therapy:
Most often we schedule sessions for once a week. After we have met and decided to work together, I ask clients to commit to 8 sessions. This varies somewhat depending on your circumstances. After a few sessions, I will be able to give you an idea of the length of therapy to achieve your goal. This depends on the type of symptoms you are experiencing, how long you have had your symptoms and how much stress you are experiencing. If you want to expedite your therapy process, I can give you homework assignments to do between sessions, books to read and ask you to reach out for support from additional sources.
Payment for the session can be made through check, credit card or cash. I will collect the fee at the end of our session. On your request I will give you a superbill that you can submit to your insurance company (if they cover therapy). The fee per individual session is $100 and the group therapy fee is $40. If these rates are not affordable for you, speak to me about scholarship rates or referrals.
People choose to come to psychotherapy because there is something in their life that they would like to change or achieve. Here are some reasons my clients have given for seeking therapy:
I feel stuck and I’m just not sure how to move forward
A relationship problem that keeps recurring
I’ve experienced something traumatic
I feel caught in feelings of anxiety or depression and I can’t get out
I’m experiencing a similar problem in multiple settings (home, work, church, etc.)
I feel lonely
I consistently do something that I know isn’t good for me
I’m adjusting to a serious medical diagnosis for myself or a loved one
The phrase “constantly stressed out” aptly describes me
I just need to talk with someone who will listen and not judge me