I begin with an intake interview, where I want to hear your story, including what brings you to therapy, whether you have ever been in therapy before, as well as what you think is helping you cope and what might be making your problems worse. I see the client as the expert on themselves, whereas I am the expert on mental health diagnosis and treatment. I use my expertise and knowledge to select the best treatment for your concerns and unique circumstances. Once I have a firm understanding of your concerns (usually after the first session) we will formulate a treatment plan. Therapy approaches I commonly use include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Client centered therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy. All therapies used have research evidence supporting their effectiveness.
What can I expect as a client?
The first session will be mostly you talking, answering specific questions and also discussing things that you think are relevant to your concerns. Therapy may involve work outside of session such as keeping track of your mood or experiences, making behavioral changes, reading a recommended book, etc. Most therapy sessions are weekly, 50-60 minute sessions. Some exceptions to this model are initial intake assessments, certain types of treatments and maintenance therapy sessions. Depending on your concerns and goals for treatment, we may only meet for a few sessions, or we may continue therapy for several months. In some cases, longer term therapy may be most beneficial.
Therapy is a highly personal experience so rest assured that all information is strictly confidential. It can be difficult to talk about one’s life, experiences and private matters. This is very normal and you are not alone. As a clinician, I work from a non-judgmental, empathic framework and believe that mutual trust and rapport is the foundation to a solid working relationship. I am honored that you are considering seeking services from me and allowing me to enter your world in order to help you in your journey.
How long does therapy take to work?
This varies depending on several factors including the client’s presenting concerns, other stressors, etc. However, most people experience some relief or begin to make progress towards their goals within a few sessions. I monitor progress closely, so if this isn’t the case, I work with the client to explore possible reasons and solutions.
The therapeutic relationship between provider and client forms the foundation for healing and personal growth. Since finding the right therapist is so important, I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation to determine if we are a good fit. During this phone consultation we can briefly discuss why you are seeking therapy, my approach, and answer any questions you may have.
Evidenced based Psychotherapy (ie., talk therapy) can be just as effective as medications for a variety of mental health issues including depression, stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Often, making healthy lifestyle changes, increasing social support and identifying internal and external triggers to distress can help people feel better without the need for medication. This eliminates the concern for side effects, interactions with other medications, dependency and the need for long-term medication use.
However, some psychiatric issues are best treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. As an expert in mental health treatment, I can make recommendations regarding the need for a medication consult. If you are already taking medication and feel it is working well for you, then there's no need to change anything! However, if you aren’t sure it is helping you,we can discuss this further, along with non-pharmacological treatment options. In addition, I am happy to consult with your prescribing provider and/or provide new referrals for a medication consultation.