Have you decided to reach out for help? It is a big and important step. You might feel overwhelmed and anxious about starting therapy. Therapy is often an unknown experience for someone and we want to make that process as easy and transparent as possible.
So let’s lay out the roadmap of what to expect when starting therapy with us.
1. It all starts with the consultation call.
The consultation call is vital because it gives both the prospective client and the therapist an opportunity to get a sense of goodness-of-fit. Goodness-of-fit is the compatibility between the therapist and client. Without this, it is much harder to form a solid therapeutic relationship.
During the consultation call, you will be asked to share about why you are reaching out and the goals you would like to achieve. The therapist will also share information about their approach to therapy. By all means, we encourage you to ask any questions you may have during this time to make sure that you have the information you need to make the best decision for you.
2. Making the first appointment.
Often, making the first appointment happens during the consultation call. The therapist will ask you for some general information so that we can create a client chart. Then, our electronic health records system will email you a link to your client portal to complete the initial paperwork. In addition, it’s really important that this paperwork is done before the first session. Otherwise, we may not be able to see you.
3. The first session.
The first session focuses on information gathering. The therapist needs to have a good sense of what is going on for you. We will ask you many questions, which help determine a diagnosis. Additionally, the therapist will give a diagnosis in the beginning of therapy, but not always the first session. The diagnosis is the beginning of the general framework that guides the focus of each session.
4. The treatment plan.
In beginning of therapy, the therapist will create a collaborative treatment plan with you. This treatment plan operates as a mutual agreement between client and therapist that the topics in the treatment plan are the important topics to talk about in session. The treatment plan is an evolving document. It does not encompass everything, and can change as needed.
5. The ongoing work.
Therapy takes time and consistency. You get out of therapy the work you put into it. Oftentimes, the therapeutic work is not limited to the session time and you will probably be asked to set goals to work on between sessions. Importantly, the therapist will give recommendations based on your individual needs and will always have your best interest in mind. To learn more about our philosophy, visit Our Approach blog.
All in all, we are here to help. We are happy to answer questions and ease any fears of starting therapy.