How do I know which therapist is right for me?
Effective therapy starts with a good relationship between you and your therapist. The relationship may take some time to develop, but you can usually get a sense of its potential in the first few meetings. Effective therapy also depends on the therapists’ experience or expertise working with your particular issue. It’s helpful to meet with the therapist in person to discuss your needs and to determine whether he or she has the skills and experience to help you.
I’ve never been in therapy before. What can I expect?
The first sessions will focus on learning about your current difficulties and concerns, and establishing your goals for treatment. Through our work together, you may be asked to complete an activity between sessions, such as reading, filling out a worksheet, or trying out a new behavior. To ensure that your goals are being met, continuity between sessions is important. This means that your active participation is necessary inside and outside the therapy room.
How often will we meet?
In most cases, we will meet once a week for our therapy sessions. There are times, however, when you may need additional support. During periods of crisis, we may decide that it’s best to meet more than once a week, at least until the acute stress has passed.
How long does therapy last?
It really depends. Some treatments will last only a few months while other treatments can take longer. Some clients are looking for immediate relief from their symptoms, while others are interested in going deeper and learning more about themselves. We will work collaboratively to determine the length of your treatment.
Do you prescribe medications?
As a licensed psychologist, I don’t prescribe medications. If you are in therapy with me and you need a consultation, I will help you find an appropriate health care professional (i.e., psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner) who can assess your need for medication. Throughout your course in therapy, I will ask to collaborate with your prescribing doctor in order to coordinate your treatment goals.
I’m a parent, and I think my teenage son/daughter needs therapy but he/she doesn’t want to go. What can I do?
In some cases, teenagers may not be willing to go to therapy. They may not feel that there’s a problem, or they may not understand how talking to someone could help. They may also feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. As a parent, recognize that these reactions are quite normal. Teenagers may feel uncertain about therapy because they may not know what it is or how it can help them. Sometimes it’s helpful if the therapist meets with the teenager in person to provide some education and dispel some misconceptions he or she may have about therapy. Usually, an initial meeting with the therapist can help ease their discomfort and act as the first steps towards building an alliance.