Often people decide to start seeing a therapist because they have had enough. Enough anxiety, enough depression, enough obsessive thinking, and enough suffering. Most have tried to work through things alone, and that hasn’t solved the problem. They wonder, “Will I ever feel like myself again?” Most people are frustrated and tired when they finally sit down and decide, “Today is the day I am going to call someone.” Likewise, when a person reaches out to get help for a spouse or a child, it is because they have tried everything to make things better, and it feels like nothing worked.
As difficult as things feel right now, it doesn’t have to stay this way. You can get better. This situation can become part of your history, instead of dominating your present.
If you have gone to a therapist before then you probably have a pretty good idea of what therapy is like. Most sessions are 50 minutes, but for the first session, I sometimes schedule 90 minutes. That way, we can cover more ground and get things moving. I don’t usually ask people to fill out a lot of paperwork or assessments, but I will ask a lot of questions in the first sessions. It’s also a time for you to ask any questions that you might have. Remember, you are hiring me to help you, so your questions are just as important as mine.
After the therapy has gotten started, we will usually meet once a week, but sometimes more or less often depending on a variety of factors. If appropriate, and if you agree, I may ask you to be evaluated be a psychiatrist in order to consider medication as a compliment to therapy. For some things, like depression and ADHD, therapy and medication together work better than either one work alone. I also may ask you to get a physical or visit a dietician in order to be sure that your body is being looked after as well as your mind.
Above all, therapy is collaboration. Even though I frequently check in with you about how you feel it is going, you can always ask for us to evaluate what we are doing and how. Doing what works means frequently evaluating our progress, and occasionally throwing out one plan in favor of one that we decide will work better. I am completely committed to the helping you move toward your best self, and we will shape the therapy to achieve that goal.