In this blog section, we will try to cover different topics that arise in our work. We are hoping the postings will be helpful for readers as a supplement to therapy, or just something to think about.
With this blog entry, I wanted to start from the basics. Whether you have never been to therapy before, or you have seen several therapists, it might be good to know what to expect with us.
Just like every person in general, every therapist is different and therefore has their own style. We recognize that it may take more than one attempt to find your right match. So if you are looking for a therapist, it might be helpful to know what to expect.
The first appointment is what we call an assessment, but a couple of different things can happen, such as establishing a diagnosis and getting information about patterns and dynamics in your life. My goal is always to give you something at the end of the assessment, as well as in every next session, to start making changes or get relief. Sometimes all you need is an assessment with some guidance in the end, which ends up more like a consultation. You can schedule just one meeting, or you can decide at the end of the meeting if you want to return for more work. That is part of planning that we do together at the end of the assessment.
If you come in for treatment of some type of anxiety or mood difficulties, we will use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is an evidence-based treatment and has specific steps and exercises that we walk you through. We also use Mindfulness and Acceptance strategies among others.
CBT is quite active for the client, with some homework between sessions to help you make changes faster and make them last. You can do the homework, but if you don’t get to it don’t be afraid to come in - we understand that a) life happens and b) you may have various reasons for not doing it that may be good to talk about in person.
If you come in for relational concerns or other personal matters, we may use Family Systems or Psychodynamic approaches to help navigate these matters. These approaches are often less structured than CBT, but will still provide strategies that you can apply on your own.
That being said, sometimes people just need a safe place to talk…we can provide that too. We thoroughly believe in taking a flexible approach, and while we are grounded in theory and can offer a lot of education, more importantly we want to meet your where you are at.
You are welcome to ask questions about the treatment process.
I hope this helps,