Q. What can I expect in my first therapy session?
The first session is a time of getting to know one another and to begin to discuss your presenting issue. The first session is also the time when we both work toward determining if we are a good fit for working with one another or if a referral to a more appropriate therapist is needed. From there will begin to discuss and formulate your goals of therapy.
Q. Is therapy confidential?
Generally, there are laws that protect information that is shared between a client and his or her therapist. Information discussed in a therapy session is not disclosed without a clients written permission except under the following circumstances:
- If a client threatens to harm himself or herself. In this instance the therapist will attempt to safety plan with client, but if this is not possible due to the client not cooperating, other measures may be taken without their permission in efforts to protect them.
- Suspected abuse of a child or the elderly. In this instance the therapist is required by law to report to authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening to harm or kill another person. The therapist is required by law to notify the proper authorities and inform the intended victim.
The relationship between therapist and a client is built on trust and a mutual understanding that shared information remains confidential. As your therapist, I am here to support you, educate you, and provide information that will help improve your situation and reach your therapy goals.
Q. How many sessions will I need?
Therapy can be a long or short term process. Some find that they are feeling better after just a few sessions while others find they require more sessions to treat more complex issues. However, on average clients will vary in their timeframe with reaching therapy goals.
Q. How can therapy help me?
Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists 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.
Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence