There is no one definite answer to this question since it depends on the individual and their situation. However, I work with some clients on short-term goals and others on more in-depth, insight related issues. Most therapy begins as short-term goal oriented work. For many this is enough. Others move into a deeper level of therapy, learning more about themselves and why they make the life choices they make, often repeating the same mistakes along the way. I work with my clients until they feel comfortable and ready to move on. Ideally this decision will be mutual and we will have a session or two to wrap it all up. Of course you are free to terminate therapy at any time.
What should I expect at my first session with you?
I ask that my clients come about 10 to 15 minutes early to fill out some simple paperwork. I conduct an informal intake interview including a brief life history and the reason you are seeking therapy. I will ask you what your goals are for treatment and then let you know what I can offer to help you reach your goals.
How often will we meet?
I see most of my clients once a week for an hour. I recommend regular weekly sessions so that you will be able to reflect during the week and return to our session to assess what is working and where you still need help. When you commit to weekly sessions, you are making a statement to yourself that you are ready to help improve the quality of your life.
Is what I say in kept confidential?
As a licensed counselor, I abide by the confidentiality standards that anything you say in your session is kept confidential unless there is mention of harming yourself or someone else. Also, if I am subpoenaed by a court order I would be legally obligated to share information. You may be asked to sign a form allowing information to be released to your insurance company or another person, usually your doctor. Information that is shared with your insurance usually only includes the fact that you are seeing me for therapy and the dates of the session. On rare occasion they may ask for more.
What are the benefits of therapy?
Different people benefit in different ways. Many people don’t consider therapy until life becomes unbearable and they have nowhere else to turn. Others are persuaded to go from a close family member or friend that sees their struggles. And some people come to therapy just wanting answers to tricky life struggles. As your therapists I can show up as a listener, an advisor, an educator and/or a supporter in your life journey, usually a bit of each.