I understand that beginning therapy can feel pretty intimidating. This may be your first time in counseling or you may have had experiences with therapy in the past. Either way, I want people to feel comfortable and have a stress-free experience as they get started. Below are answers to common questions that people often have about the counseling process and what to expect.
How do I / we get started? The first step is to schedule an appointment. You can contact me HERE to request an appointment and inquire about availability. Please note if you happen to reach out over a weekend or holiday I will respond the following business day. Once we have something on the schedule I will email you new client paperwork to complete and bring to your first visit. That email will also confirm your appointment time and provide detailed directions to the office.
What happens at the first session? If you are participating in relationship counseling, I will meet with you and your partner together at the first visit. From there, I will schedule an individual session with each partner to gather essential background information. Sessions from that point will be together. Whether you are coming in for individual or couples work, our first session is for us to talk openly about what brings you in and your desires for this process. It is also a time for you to ask me any questions you have as we begin. The first session can be anxiety producing for clients because, well, you don't know me yet!
Can I participate in relationship counseling by myself? Of course it is ideal if both partners can come in for counseling when desiring to work on their relationship. However, there are times when one partner is not ready or interested. There is a lot that can be discovered about patterns in your relationship even if you are coming in by yourself. Remember, however, one person is not solely responsible for the health of a marriage or relationship.
The model of counseling that I use with couples is called Emotionally Focused Therapy. One aspect that I enjoy about this model is that it does not place blame on either partner but, rather, focuses on the patterns of interaction between partners. Many people are pleasantly surprised that our first conversations are different than what they feared or imagined. So, much of what a partner might fear about coming in for counseling (being attacked, bombarded, blamed, etc) doesn't occur.