Your First Visit
Everyone can have difficulty coping with problems. Maybe you have tried everything to solve your concerns and nothing seems to work. You want life to be different, but you feel stuck and unable to move forward. You feel overwhelmed and decide to talk with someone about your concerns. It is a tough decision to call for an appointment. After the call is made, it is common for people to feel nervous and apprehensive about their first visit. These feelings are a normal part of the process. What can you expect during your first visit?
You can expect your therapist to know that this is tough for you. Your therapist will honor and respect you as a unique individual with a story to tell. Your story is personal, and the only person who can tell your story is you. You are the expert on yourself. In order for the therapist to determine the best way to help you, he or she will be interested in your story and what brings you to therapy. You can go about this however you like: starting at the beginning and moving forward, or starting at the end and going backward. Your first visit is the beginning of a special relationship that will help you to make changes in your life. You are the co-creator and of this relationship.
In the first session, you can expect to go over some business and paperwork. Your therapist is bound by ethical standards and law to ensure you understand issues like confidentiality and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. You and your therapist will agree on a fee that is determined by a sliding scale.
Don’t hesitate to ask your therapist questions. Your therapist wants to make clear anything that might confuse or trouble you. At the end of the session, your therapist will ask you for some feedback about your first impressions and how good the two of you are connecting. If you feel your therapist does not match your personality or needs, simply say so. We will place you with another therapist. Often, people feel relieved after the first session because they feel understood and have gained a sense of hope.
Ultimately, your first visit begins a journey in a safe and secure relationship to help you discover answers. Research studies have shown that therapy is effective in alleviating many problems (http://www.apa.org/about/policy/resolution-psychotherapy.aspx.). We consider it an honor to accompany you on this journey.