The therapeutic relationship is unique, and boundaries are very important. During the first few visits, you and I will be determining whether we are a “good fit.” I am assessing whether I may be helpful to you and your unique situation or if another provider might better meet your needs. You are deciding if I am someone you feel comfortable working with. If, for any reason, your needs could be better met by another provider, I am happy to provide names of other providers in the area. This process is part of “informed consent” for treatment.
I believe for therapy to be effective, it must be a collaborative process and not a relationship of “doctor knows best.” Upon meeting, I gather a great deal of information which includes physical, emotional, and social history, along with presenting concerns. I don’t just look for problems but also look for strengths that can be expanded upon. “Resources” skills of managing uncomfortable thoughts, moods, and body sensations is a very important part of the process.
My goal is to provide you a safe environment to work through issues. Part of feeling safe is empowerment. I may make recommendations regarding treatment, however, we will only address issues if you choose. Psychotherapy is a process that requires work on both our parts and, in some cases, the family. The likelihood of successful treatment is greatly increased with your active participation in sessions and thoughts, emotions and choices between sessions.
Since therapy often involves exploring many aspects of the client’s life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings and thoughts at times. It is important to share and work through these experiences. My approach to therapy includes examining thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical reactions. Reprocessing memories that were maladaptively stored and developing an adaptive response. not only changes how you feel in the moment but also future responses.
Though I have worked with many people over the years, everyone is unique, thus, therapy is a process of working together to determine how to best meet the client’s treatment goals. For some, this may mean several sessions, for others, this may be a year or longer. It is not uncommon to be in therapy for a number of months or years, depending on work. There are many people who complete their work and return to therapy in the future to address new issues or for a “booster shot” (a few sessions).
Typically I like to meet with people weekly and then space out the sessions as the client is feeling more comfortable. The frequency of sessions will depend on the types of issues and if there is a crisis. With changes in the healthcare field, there has been an increasing emphasis on coordination of care. It is typical for one’s primary care provider to have contact with the psychologist. I will request a release to share information with your primary care provider. However, you may choose to allow this continuity of care or not.
When a client decides to end treatment for any reason, it is important he/she inform me so I can make any recommendations or assist in this process. My training and experience include working with children, adolescents, and adults. I have worked in a variety of capacities with children, including outpatient work, day treatment, and residential with adolescents. My work has included individual, family, couples, and groups. Most insurance plans are accepted. Currently, I am working with adults individually and children ages 6-10.