Most people are nervous about starting therapy and not sure what to expect at the first appointment. At the initial appointment you should arrive at my office about 15 minutes early to complete paperwork. The initial session will be primarily devoted to gathering information about your history and current concerns. Within the first few sessions I will provide you with information about my assessment of the problem and make treatment recommendations.
Therapy often requires recalling and talking about unpleasant aspects of your history or your present situation, which can bring up uncomfortable feelings such as sadness, anger, or shame. Although it may be necessary to talk about painful or embarrassing subjects, my role as a therapist is to be a nonjudgmental presence. A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. It can be helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. There are no guarantees regarding the outcomes. Some people find that participating in therapy results in changes that were not expected or intended at the outset.
Usually you will be the one who decides when therapy will end, preferably because you have met your goals or received maximum benefit from our relationship. It is preferred that we discuss the termination process, sometimes over the course of several sessions. Outpatient therapy is always voluntary and you can choose to terminate our relationship at any time.
Click below to download a document outlining expectations for treatment. This form can be printed and signed before arriving at your first session.