One of the most frequently asked questions we get is “What should I expect when working with a therapist?” We understand how anxiety provoking it can be to think about calling a professional for help.
Perhaps you have spent months researching symptoms, trying alternative methods or just hoping that your troubles would go away on their own.
If this is you, then don’t worry because on average, most people think about calling a therapist for about 6-8 months before they actually pick up the phone and make an appointment! So the fact that you have landed on this page and are thinking about making this commitment puts you in the perfect spot to chat with us about how we can help.
CHOOSING A THERAPIST
We think it is so critical to feel connected to your therapist. It is terrifying to think about trusting someone with your personal and private information. We value the relationship between therapist and client and we like to give people the opportunity to talk with us on the phone first before they even commit to their first session.
We will start with an initial 15-minute phone consultation where we can better understand your goals for therapy and how we can best serve you.
THE FIRST SESSION
Once you determine that your therapist would be a good fit for you, your first session will be scheduled. The first session with your therapist is an intake session where she will ask you some general questions about your life and your background so she can get to know you. That session is about 55 minutes long and we like to use that time to make sure that we clearly understand your goals so we can best serve you.
By the end of that first session, our mission is to have a deeper insight into what is troubling you so we can work collaboratively in the process.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I COME TO THERAPY?
In the beginning of therapy, most people commit to coming in once per week in order to get the most of out the process. Weekly therapy usually offers people the most relief and helps them work through their struggles at a more consistent pace.
The time that you spend in therapy will vary greatly depending on your needs and what goals you have for yourself. We always aim to come from a place of service for our clients and we strive to support you through the process.
Call us today at (412) 276-2307 if you are interested in learning more about the process of therapy and how we can help. If you aren’t quite ready to take the leap and call, you are always welcome to email us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help answer them!
I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. We tailor our therapeutic approach to your specific needs
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
We are so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with a therapist, we would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, your therapist could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.