What Can I Expect?
The idea of seeing a therapist for the first time can be a little overwhelming. Uncertainty about the whole experience may only add a level of anxiety to whatever issues may be leading you to counseling in the first place. This page can help dispell some of that uncertainty by walking you through your first visit and giving you a good idea of what to expect from your counseling experience.
Once You Arrive
Much like a visit to your doctor or dentist, you will spend a little time on your first visit completing some paperwork. Most of the forms you will need are located on this site on the Forms Page. If you wish, you may complete these before your first appointment, otherwise, simply plan to arrive about 10 minutes early in order to complete your paperwork.
Meeting The Counselor
Your first visit with any new counselor is an important one. It is your opportunity to assess how well you and the therapist will work together. Finding the right relationship for you is critical to the success of your therapy.
During this first session, you and your therapist will talk about the reasons you decided to come to counseling. It's likely that your counselor will ask you some questions to get to know you better. These may include questions about you or your family's history, current significant events in your life, or anything else that may help the counselor understand your perspective. Together, you will also define some goals for therapy.
At the end of the first visit, your therapist will check with you to see if the experience was a helpful one and will ask if you would like to return. It is perfectly fine to say "no" if you feel you and your counselor are not likely to work well together. If the experience was a positive one for you, then you and the therapist will schedule a next appointment typically in a week's time.
Schedule Your Appointment
Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect in your first visit, feel free to call and schedule your own appointment. If you are unable to reach me on your first attempt, feel free to leave a confidential message with your name and a phone number at which you are comfortable receiving a return call. All phone calls are returned promptly during regular business hours.