Initial Consultation - For Individuals
Whether this is your first experience in therapy or you've seen a counselor before, it helps to have an idea of what to expect when you meet a new therapist.
Our first meeting is a chance for you to share in your own words what is going on for you. Whatever is going on is welcome. I'll typically ask some open-ended questions like "What brings you for counseling at this time?" or "What are you hoping to receive from therapy?" And then I'll listen to what you have to say. I also welcome any questions that you may have about therapy in general, or about my background and approach. At some point, I'll share my thoughts about how I think therapy might be helpful to you based on the material you bring to the session.
If you know at the end of the session that you'd like to schedule a follow-up session, I'll provide a form that has more information about the therapy process and another form that requests more information about you and your history for you to take home and fill out. There's no pressure at the end of the consultation to continue therapy, and if you're unsure about continuing, you can think about it at home and contact me if you decide to return for another session.
Initial Consultation - For Couples
Let's be honest... couples are typically not thrilled at the idea of coming to see a therapist. So my hope is that even if you come into therapy with some healthy skepticism, I can help you feel comfortable enough to see the potential benefits (and limits) of therapy and understand how therapy may be helpful to your unique relationship.
I like to briefly interview each partner during the first session so that I can get an idea of how you experience the relationship. Questions such as "If you woke up tomorrow morning and your relationship was everything that you wished it was, what would be different and how would this feel?" I also like to hear how you and your partner met and get a brief history of your time together. Once I get some background and hear what you are struggling with, I may lead you through a process to begin the work of communication and understanding. Usually couples have stopped trying to hear each other by the time they get to me, so we may start there, but all couples are different so I'll be working with you on whatever is pressing in your relationship. Therapy is absolutely a "You get what you give" kind of experience so my hope is to create an atmosphere that allows you to feel comfortable to do the work that you came to do.