What should I expect during my first appointment?
During your first appointment, we will spend time getting to know each other, learning about why you're coming to counseling, and gathering some information about you. We will also try figure out what you're hoping to accomplish in therapy and set some goals to help you get there. It sometimes takes a few sessions to accomplish this. It's pretty common for a person to realize they want help, but figuring out what that looks like might take awhile.
What should I expect during sessions?
After we complete the first appointment, establish what you want to accomplish with therapy, and set goals to work on, the work begins on helping you reach these goals and achieve you desired accomplishments! Each session will be a little different, but time will be spent on checking in and following up on progress from the last session and moving forward on what needs to be done to continue helping you accomplish your goals. Sessions should challenge you, but they are also low pressure. Each person moves at a different pace; we will figure out your comfort level and work from there.
How do you help me?
The most important factor influencing success in therapy is the relationship between the therapist and the client. I will work to build a strong, trusting, supportive, and honest relationship with each client. This gives the foundation for everything else that happens.
I mainly use what's called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. CBT is an evidence-based therapy that focuses on our thoughts,, behaviors, and feelings. It helps people recognize dysfunctional thinking patterns or behaviors and gives them strategies to improve and change them.
How long will it take for me to feel better?
Each person and the issues they bring are different, but clients should see improvement in 8-12 sessions. I believe that there are times it's helpful for clients to return to therapy to discuss new developments or issues going on in their lives. Thinking about it in medical terms, we sometimes just need one or two appointments for our primary care physician to help us out before we feel better. Counseling can be the same way. Sometimes all someone needs is a couple of sessions to talk an issue through, and they are good to go!
Do I have to talk about my mom or other past issues?
It can be helpful to review your past to see how it contributes to your current way of thinking or doing things, but the majority of the time is spent focused on the here and now. At times a client may need or want to spend more time talking about past issues, but that is usually discussed as therapy progresses.