The greatest obstacle to being successful in therapy is not the severity of the presenting problem but delaying the start of therapy. Many clients have shared that before making the call to a therapist they delayed seeking treatment for many years because they were afraid of disclosing personal and sometimes embarrassing experiences to anyone outside of the immediate family.
However, the true benefit of therapy lies in that very fact - the fact that you share your problems with a therapist, who has the necessary distance to see the roots of the problem more clearly and whose purpose it is to help you develop solutions when advice from family and friends has failed or was not available.
Your therapist helps you discover which tools to use, in the most time efficient way possible, without needing to be afraid of being judged or evaluated.
What to expect from therapy
When you are in treatment, your personal information and doctor-patient communication are legally protected as confidential. This means that if you want your therapist to consult with anyone regarding your concerns, you will need to sign a release of information or "authorization" to allow him to do so. It also means that others may not be given information about your treatment without your expressed permission. There are exceptions to the rule of confidentiality — you will be informed of these exceptions at the initial meeting.
For a better understanding of treatment, I have developed this decision tree:
TREATMENT DECISION TREE
CALL: Call the office to make an appointment and we will make an effort to schedule your first appointment as soon as possible after the initial call. To allow continuity of care, I recommend scheduling 4-5 appointments at any given time as my schedule often books up well in advance.
PAPERWORK: Arrive 30 minutes early to the initial appointment to fill out paperwork.
FIRST SESSION: During the initial meeting, I identify your presenting problem, assess your current functioning as a result of this concern, and decide upon a treatment plan. The estimated length of treatment will depend on the presenting problem and treatment format. To give you an estimate, I have included a few examples below. This is merely an estimate or guideline. However, many issues can be resolved or significantly improved within the first 1-5 sessions. Depending on your benefits plan, this could be fully covered without any co-pay:
Trauma 9-18 session
Depression (5-10 sessions)
Anxiety (5-10 sessions)
Assessment (5-7 hours) + Report writing (hourly rate)
Sessions last approximately 50 minutes and 10 additional minutes to document your progress in your file. Session Fees include both the meeting with the Psychologist and the documentation. Sessions are scheduled on a twice weekly, weekly, and bi-weekly basis. For trauma and severe anxiety, clients often book 90-minute sessions up to twice per week.
HOMEWORK: Previous clients have shared with me that my approach to treatment is very efficient. This may be due to that fact that I match presenting problems to the most evidence-based treatment format and assign homework tasks accordingly. This allows me to reach into the client's life in-between sessions and makes treatment more effective. Please estimate 1-2 hours per week on therapy-related practice tasks, particularly if you are suffering from trauma, obsessions or anxiety.
AFTERCARE: Even after therapy has concluded, I would like you to feel welcome to return when another tragic event happens or new difficulties arise. Some clients like regular check-ups and feel that this prevents any relapse into old patterns. Whatever your preference, your greatest compliment to our services is returning when needed and telling your friends and family of your experiences.