Embrace the process!
Feeling afraid to take the next step? Struggling to pick up the phone? It's not easy reaching out and contacting someone for help. Sometimes we believe that we can do it all by ourselves and not rely on anyone else. I will be the first to tell you that it's difficult to take that initial step and reach out to someone. When times get tough and you feel like you are alone struggling to make it work and survive in your own little world, it can sometimes make you think that your life is hopeless. I'm here to tell you it's not. Pick up the phone and take that first step. You'll be glad you did!
The First Session
For many people, the first session can be anxiety provoking. You may be wondering, "What will it be like? Will I like my counselor? Will I be able to open up to them? Will I feel comfortable?" All of these thoughts are normal. Relax! Take a deep breath! Once you arrive and are greeted, we will review some key policies and then move into why you are seeking counseling. Together we will explore what has been weighing you down and bothering you. I will provide a supportive, calm and relaxing environment where you will feel comfortable to discuss what is troubling you with a non-judgmental and compassionate therapist. Upon wrapping up the session, we will identify treatment goals that you want to work on while you are in therapy. I will also discuss with you the plan and course of treatment. From there, you will set up another appointment time to continue to work toward your goals. It's that easy!
The Second and Beyond Sessions
Much of your sessions from here on out will be tailored to your goals and methods of treatment while using creative approaches to counseling. As your counselor, I will meet you where you're at in the process of therapy. I will provide you with a different perspective and way of visualizing things, issue homework at times to deepen the material being learned between sessions, and supply you with coping skills and tools to learn how to make your life more manageable. I provide a positive foundation for us to work from and to help you to identify thoughts and emotions by learning how to reframe and rationalize them.
Traditionally during the first session, we will all meet together and explore the reason for coming to counseling. We will establish goals as a couple after we discuss the background of the current situation. Once we meet for the first session, I will then set up separate appointments for the two of you to meet with me individually. This will allow me to get a better picture of what is going on in the relationship as we further discuss the background and history. Finally, we will return as a couple and continue counseling together.
For adolescents ages, 12-17 years old, it is required that for the first session a parent be present. Typically, for the first session will be in three parts. For the first part we will meet together as a family to get a background of the situation. Here, we will discuss the overview and reason for seeking counseling and any symptoms the adolescent is having. For the second part, the adolescent and I will meet together alone and discuss their reason for seeking counseling further. We will identify treatment goals and plan a course of treatment. Finally for the third part, we will resume our session as a family to further discuss treatment goals and plans and answer any questions. In future sessions, at times I may check in with the parent to receive any updates and answer any questions, but primarily I will be meeting with the adolescent one-on-one.