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(509) 892-1100
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(815) 555-5555

Beginning the Journey of Therapy is a Monumental Step  

It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge what is going on in your life and make the decision to change what is not working for you. Making this call to reach out is a HUGE step towards your personal growth. I invite you to honor the strength that it requires to take this step and be vulnerable.

Show Up For Your Scheduled Appointments

Therapy is work, and it can be hard work at times. When you and I go deeper into your struggles, sometimes you might feel overwhelmed, and you might want to avoid coming in again. There might be issues in your life that make it difficult to show up. However, consistent attendance at our sessions is crucial to our ability to make progress towards your goals. We must both be committed to this journey. If it becomes apparent that your priorities are not in line with your original commitment to your mental health goals, I may need to remove you from my schedule.

The time you have with me is valuable to you, me, and other community members waiting for an opening for services at our agency. Therefore, we have strict policies for attendance.

  • If you cancel 3 appointments within a 3-month period, I may cancel all future sessions.
  • If you No Show or Late Cancel (fail to attend a session and do not contact me or our office to cancel), I may cancel all future appointments.

Communication

My sessions are by appointment only, but if you are feeling like you need an extra appointment, have scheduling concerns or a brief question, feel free to contact me directly by phone or email and I will get back to you within 24-
48 hours.

We understand that unforeseen events may occur, but if you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please provide 24-hours advance notice. I will attempt to reschedule your session for another time during the same week to provide consistency of care vital to your progress and prevent a cancellation on your record.

If there are barriers that are interfering with your ability to attend your regularly scheduled appointments, I invite you to contact me at any time to let me know, and we will work together to develop a plan to help you be successful.

Emergency or Crisis

For crisis support, call or text the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-8255 available 24/7. If your needs are urgent, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

What to Expect When Engaging in Therapy

As with any journey, I consider you my partner who I collaborate with for the betterment of your mental health. If you are not ready to access deeper emotions, I will not push or cajole you to do so, but we may be able to talk about what is getting in the way for you and how we can overcome that barrier.

In the first few sessions, you and I will work on building the therapeutic relationship. I may seem to listen more than I talk, namely because I want to learn about your story and how your struggles are affecting you in this moment. Once rapport has been established, you and I can discuss deeper concerns, I can suggest interventions, and we will engage in exercises or techniques that may help you in your journey to better mental health and personal growth.

There are events, stressors and relationships that can affect our mental health, for better or worse. I want to help you discover what is important to you and what is affecting you the most. It can be uncomfortable to be vulnerable to someone and express how things in your life really are – but it is difficult for me to help unless I know what is really going on. I hope as you and I continue in our work together, you will feel more comfortable in revealing what is important to you. Together you and I can build a foundation of trust and communication as part of your personal growth.

Consider Your Goals

It is very common that when people come to therapy, they want a goal to be to reduced to their symptoms. For example, “I want to be less anxious,” or “I don’t want to be depressed anymore,” or “I don’t want to fight with my spouse anymore.” It can feel easier to identify what we don’t want. However, what would happen if you considered what smaller goals you might need to achieve to get there? What if you focus on developing a stronger sense of self-compassion; or changing your thought patterns to challenge old beliefs; or maybe you have gained better communication skills to connect with your partner.

I am hopeful that in our work together, we can help you assess and focus on what you want to see more of in your life. These are your goals. Initially, we will work on formulating your goals. They can be changed at any time – and often do, but they give us direction and help keep our work together focused on what you want most.

Therapy Goes Beyond the Office

The average frequency for counseling appointments is once per week, for a therapeutic hour, which is typically between 40-60 minutes, depending upon what your insurance allows and what you need. That is not a lot of time! It has been shown that what happens in the office is a microcosm, or small-scale version of how you interact with the world outside.

I may assign you homework, loan you a book, or send you an article that I think might help to better foster your mental health, but I cannot make you read them. Your active engagement with your mental health is paramount to your progress. It is empowering to take your mental health into your own hands, increasing your confidence and helping you gain a sense of control over your life.

I may also identify needs to refer you to community resources or for additional medical evaluations. Failing to follow through on these referrals can slow the therapeutic process or even put your health at risk. It is important that you follow through with accessing these additional supports. I must place your total health and well-being above all else.

Give Yourself Time to Assess

Therapists are people too, with their own personalities, quirks, dreams, hopes, doubts and fears. While therapists have similar training, their backgrounds and life experiences (and let’s not forget personalities) may or may not be a good fit for you. Some clients appreciate a therapist who is directive, telling them what they think is helpful and giving advice; some clients appreciate a therapist who is more inquisitive; and some others may appreciate a therapist who is more supportive and allows them the space to work out their issues on their own. Every therapist will have a slightly different approach, and that is okay.

If at any point in our work together you are curious why I am using a certain technique or intervention, or I am asking a particular question, you are encouraged to investigate. A healthy therapeutic relationship is built upon trust, communication, and boundaries. The more I understand how I impact you as a therapist, the greater impact our work together can have. If one intervention is working, but another technique is not, we will both want to know so we can adjust. These types of inquiries will help us assess what progress is being made in your time with me.

If you feel you would like to end your treatment with me for any reason, or would prefer to be referred to another therapist, you can let me, or the office, know – we will work with you to determine the next steps that are right for you.

From the very beginning of therapy we will be working toward a time when you no longer need my support and can be discharged as a natural part of the therapeutic process. When we focus your goals on what it will look like when you have reached them, we will know when our work together is complete! However, if something else arises, or you need a chance to re-affirm your growth, you can always reach out to the main office to re-engage in services with me.

I feel it an honor to participate in this process with you.

Humbly,

Your Therapist

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