What Happens in Therapy?
You’ve thought about beginning therapy and now you’re ready to take the leap. What happens next?
Initial Contact: You’ll either call or email me and I will want to know a little bit about you and why you’re seeking therapy at this time. You might want to know a bit about me and my practice (including fees, of course) in order for us to figure out if we should go ahead and meet in person. If we decide to meet, we will schedule the initial session.
Initial Session(s): The first two or three sessions are a time for us to get to know each other better and see if we both feel that we’re a good match for working together. I will want to know what’s causing you distress at this time, what you would like help with, and what your goals are. If this is difficult for you to figure out and put into words, I can help you. You will have the opportunity to ask me questions about my approach and the process. And I will give you my assessment of your needs and my recommendations for treatment.
Ongoing Sessions: Once we decide to work together, we will schedule a regular appointment time each week that works well for your schedule. I believe, based on research and experience, that psychotherapy is most beneficial when it is consistent (weekly sessions), especially in the beginning of treatment when I am getting to know you and understand your story and what brought you to therapy (and you are also getting to know and feel comfortable with me). We will begin our work together with your current situation and, over time, we may also explore your past - how it has affected you and informs what’s happening for you presently.
Ending Therapy: There is no set length of time for how long therapy should last and it’s different for different people. This depends in part on what your goals are and the kind of issues you bring to therapy. You are the expert on you, however, and can end therapy at any time. Periodically, we might assess how the process is going and decide to change our focus. You will know when you feel ready to end therapy and I will encourage you to discuss this with me so that we can facilitate a positive ending. Ideally, we will have a chance over several sessions for me to give you my professional feedback and for us to discuss how therapy has helped you and how you can utilize what you’ve internalized from the therapy process to move forward in your life. When you leave therapy you should have the resources and capacity to deal with life’s inevitable challenges on your own and with the support of family and friends.
Follow-up: About a month after you end therapy I will check in with you to see how you’re doing. Before and after that you are always welcome to contact me if you feel the need.