Do I need to be prepared when I come to my first session?
Yes, you need to bring a picture ID such as a driver’s license and insurance and secondary insurance card if you have Medicare. If you have other insurance, I will provide you with the correct paperwork to file your claim.
I’ve never been to therapy before. What should I expect?
You are going to be in a comfortable, accepting non-judgmental environment where you are free to speak about anything that is of concern to you regardless of what it is. The content of our session is privileged and is protected by Florida statutes ensuring the privacy of the client-therapist relationship.
Is it OK if I’m not clear about what I want to talk about? Sometimes my thoughts get jumbled.
It’s not only all right, but sometimes the most productive sessions occur when multiple thoughts or issues are simultaneously seeking expression. This work isn’t linear but multi-dimensional, meaning that we are working on different levels simultaneously so any and all information is relevant. We will work to find where it fits best in constructing our therapeutic narrative.
How long are the sessions? What happens if I am in the middle of something upsetting?
The sessions are typically 45 minutes but may last a bit longer to allow us to find a more comfortable place to stop for the day. Occasionally, although not often, a client may be in crisis at the end of our allotted time. If some additional time is available I will ask the client if they can stay longer or to return if I have additional time later that day to meet. If that is not feasible, I will schedule a time to talk later in the day or evening and make every effort to schedule another session as soon as possible. Your welfare is always my first concern.
Is it possible to meet more than once a week? Is that helpful?
Meeting more that once weekly is often very helpful. It gives us a chance to explore issues more in depth and get to underlying problems more efficiently. Sometimes meeting for a double session allows us to address pressing issues in more depth as well.
Do you talk? Do I get feedback?
I realize that this sounds like an odd question but I have seen many clients over the years who have complained that they saw a therapist who rarely said a work or gave feedback. I do talk and give feedback as often as it appears to be relevant and helpful. Of course, you can always ask for more feedback or ask any question you might have.
What if I feel worse after the initial session of after the first few sessions?
It is not uncommon for a client’s symptoms to intensify after beginning therapy. Don’t forget that you are opening up important issues that have been buried, often for years if not decades. It’s like stirring up the bottom of a fish tank that hasn’t been cleaned in a long while. Gradually we’ll sift through the issues, achieve greater clarity, sort things out and restore a sense of order that you have been missing.
How long does therapy last? How will I know when I’m done?
The duration of therapy looks different for everyone. It is not one-size-fits-all. For some, six months following an acute stressor such as a breakup or loss of a loved one might be adequate. For others looking to change deeply rooted patterns and belief systems, the process will take longer. I prefer to let the work dictate the time frame. During this process, however, you can be assured that I will keep checking our progress throughout our work together to determine if it feels appropriate and timely to end therapy.
Should I see a male or female therapist?
Individuals often wonder if they would do better with a male or female therapist. Research on therapist traits and therapy outcome has failed to identify any relationship between the two. Factors such as warmth and empathy are much more related to outcome than therapist gender. Your comfort in relating to your therapist is of the greatest importance.