The First Visit – You’ve Got This!
How does therapy help?
There are many benefits to seeking therapy.
If you are seeking new methods to manage an emotional concern, support for transition, or to feel more motivated? Therapy can be an asset to you! It can help you build skills to better manage unwanted symptoms, triggers, and responses. It can also offer you increased coping skills and open your eyes to new ways of dealing with situations, and awaken feelings of inner strength that you may not have been aware of before.
Therapy offers problem-solving skills, provides support, and helps you work through life changes, allowing you to see your circumstances as a personal growth opportunity instead of a barrier or an obstacle.
Some specific skills therapy can provide are:
- Emotional management, including, but not limited to feelings which impact your management of everyday life.
- Coping mechanisms to allow you to work through situations which typically cause you anxiety or avoidance.
- Stress-management techniques to apply to deal with stress, such as with your job, school, health, friends or family. .
- Skills and techniques to help you better navigate parent- child, or caregiver relationships.
- Coaching and strategies to enact when you encounter larger social situations or public speaking, or higher level responsibilities or tasks that have been previous barriers to moving up in your career!
- Improving self-care, self-confidence, and strategies that no longer allow feelings about self image to stand in your way of anything .
- Improving communication, listening, and the ability to speak up for yourself.
- Identifying and utilizing your skills, strengths, and positive attributes and building skills to quiet your inner negative thoughts.
- Finding a resolution to the issues, and unwanted symptoms that originally led you to therapy.
- Gaining a sense of confidence and a clear plan toward your personal success!
While the decision to begin therapy is an individual choice, in many regards it may be helpful for everyone. As you can see, there is a wide variety of reasons to begin therapy. They range from significant emotional needs to help managing daily stress, to transitional periods in life. Success/Treatment plans will vary based on your individual circumstances.
What to expect on your first visit?
Your first therapy session has two main goals:
1. Assess your circumstances
We will take the first meeting to assess your current circumstances. While my areas of expertise may be consistent with your reasons for coming to therapy, we will address the specific areas that are unique to you, and your current circumstances. From there, we will be able to better determine what type of therapy is right for you, what it will entail, and what it will look like for you in terms of fitting it into your day-to-day life. In addition, I may provide you with actions to complete outside of our therapy sessions, such as practice a certain technique, or read an article, as it is important you take on an active role in your healing.
2. Build a relationship
Our first session will be more like a two way interview. I’ll get to know you, and you’ll get to know me. I will ask you questions to help me better understand your core issues and concerns, as well as your history in terms of other events in your life, family, childhood, and career. However, you are welcome to ask questions too. In order for therapy to be successful, it is important to establish a client/therapist relationship that is supportive and honest. The quality of our therapeutic alliance has a great impact on the success of your overall therapy goals. In our sessions and contacts, you can expect the following:
- You can expect to be treated with compassion, empathy, respect, and understanding.
- You can expect to be presented with someone who is available to listen to you and listen to your interpretation of what you are currently experiencing.
- You can expect to receive knowledgeable and scientifically backed techniques and information to assist you in overcoming your mental health related struggles.
- You can expect to arrive in a safe, supportive, and confidential space (virtual) unless In-person on site .
- You can expect to receive real strategies and techniques you can use to enact positive changes on your life.
Is therapy confidential?
As a general rule, all therapy sessions are confidential and anything you discuss with your therapist will remain between the two of you, unless you request otherwise. This is as per protection rules by law, which all therapists legally need to follow, and no information from the session can be disclosed without prior written consent from the client.
There are exceptions to this law however, and the therapist can disclose information from the session to legal authorities or appointed persons if any of the following are true:
- The therapist suspects abuse to a child, dependent adult, or an elder, or are made aware of domestic abuse. These situations all require the therapist to notify law authorities immediately.
- If the therapist suspects an individual has caused, or is threatening to cause severe bodily harm to another person, therapists are required to report it to the police.
- If an individual intends to harm himself or herself, expressing to the therapist for example, plans for suicide. While the therapist will attempt to work through this in the therapy session, if it appears to be unresolved or the client does not cooperate, additional action may need to be taken to ensure the safety of the client
- * Confidentiality is also reviewed in practice policy given prior to first session.