How long will I be in counseling?
The number of sessions differ for different people and issues. The counselor and the client keep track of the progress towards the goals that have been set at the beginning of therapy. When the client is satisfied with the progress that was made therapy can be terminated. However the client can chose to discontinue therapy at any point. If you must have a number I would say 16-20 session.
What happens during the free 30-minute consultation?
The reason that I provide a free initial consultation is because I need to understand your current issues to determine if I can help you. Consultation differs from a therapy session. During consultation I will be asking more questions than usual in order to determine if we can proceed. If I find that your current struggles are not in my area of focus I will give you a referral so that you can be in the most capable hands. This consultation also allows you to see if you can work with me. During this time you should pay attention to your comfort level, your feelings, the atmosphere, if you feel heard, if you feel safe, and if you could potentially trust me. This consultation is for me as much as it is for you.
Do you accept insurance?
I do not accept insurance. However, I can provide a statement for you to take to your insurance company for full or partial reimbursement for your out-of-network therapy benefits.
When will I start to feel better?
As you begin to explore the underlying issues of your personal struggles or the issues in your relationship most clients report feeling worse initially. This can be due to connecting with repressed thoughts and emotions. This can be an uncomfortable part of therapy, but after this period people usually begin to feel better.
How is talking to a therapist different from talking to a friend?
A therapist listens differently. Friends/family usually listen to reply and give you advice. A therapists listens to understand and give you tools to find your own answers because you are your own expert and are capable of finding what is most beneficial to you. Friends/family might have good suggestions, but a therapist is a trained professional that has vast knowledge on issues and a variety of coping tools that they can make available to you. A therapist isn't involved in your life and sees the situation with an unbiased perspective. A therapist doesn't have the responsibility of maintaining a friendship, which influences how people communicate. A friend/family heavily rely on their own experience to help you. For example, someone who has a good marriage will give you advice based on their own marriage as opposed to focusing on what will make your marriage work. Therapists have a greater understanding that all relationships are different and unique. What is helpful to one person might be useless to the other. Therefore, therapists draw on their expertise and only use their person experience when it is beneficial to the client.