Many of the folks I work with have never been in therapy. In fact, it was something they never seriously considered until things just became unbearable. And for many, thinking about actually going to counseling can be terrifying. But, then they come to see me anyway.
For many people, their first counseling session may be the first time they have ever experienced what it’s like to have a warm, accepting, compassionate listener. A person who is fully present in the moment with them. A listener who desires to know them. To understand them and can empathize with their pain. You too may want to share your story and finally feel the relief of unburdening yourself for holding in all of the turmoil inside of you.
Feeling nervous? Not really sure what to expect? Let me walk you through step by step.
You might be surprised by the amount of information you learn about my practice and how I work. You also get a chance to share information about yourself before we even meet!
You will receive an email with the link to my secure online client portal. My goal is to ensure you are comfortable and fully aware of the process before you attend your first session.
My clients appreciate this process because it saves time during our session and helps to reduce anxiety. Completing the online intake helps us jump right and help you find relief quickly.
Once you enter the office, you'll see a nice guy sitting behind a desk. His name's Kyle. He's there to "get you checked in." So he'll quietly duck into my office and say, "Your person's here."
While you are waiting for me to wrap up my previous session, feel free to relax. Grab a bottle of water, coffee, or tea.
Once I'm done with my previous session, I'll come to get you. If there's anyone else in the waiting room, I'll probably look a bit perplexed and wonder, "Is that them?" And for the umpteenth million times, I'll WISH I had a picture to go with a name! And then we will find each other! I'm a blue jeans, Sperry's and sweater kinda girl. I'll take comfort over fashion any day. So come as you are.
I help make your first counseling session as smooth as possible. Since you've completed the online intake before our session, you're able to share your story naturally.
Typically we explore the information you shared in your intake questionnaire. I'd like to know the standard things like current symptoms, past or current diagnosis, experiences in counseling, any medication you might be taking, and so on.
More importantly, I want to know who you are. I want to understand those deeper aspects of yourself. Your personality, life experiences, hard things you've faced, dreams, painful life experiences, accomplishments and successes, your relationships...and so on.
Once I get to know you, and what's been going on, we can then begin to shape your goals. Hopefully by the end of the session you are able to take one tangible thing with you. Maybe it's a resource, tool, or "intention" for the week. (Some might call it homework, but you're not getting a poor grade if you choose not to do it.)
And when I say "tangible," I often mean that literally. I have a stack of 3 X 5 colorful notecards sitting next to me. At some point during your sessions with me, I'll probably grab one and start writing. It's easy to get emotionally flooded or forget all the things we've discussed. So it can be helpful to have a physical reminder.
Personally, I don't appreciate being rushed. It feels disingenuous, and it's annoying. I want to be able to take my time. This is especially true when meeting a client for the first time. I want to have plenty of time to get to know you. You deserve my undivided attention. But that's not really possible if we are both clock watching.
Although we may be able to save a significant amount of time by completing the paperwork in advance, I find the majority of new clients still require additional time.
I ensure you have time to disclose why you are seeking counseling. It's important you can describe in-depth what has been occurring and how it has affected you thus far. You may also need extra time to adequately express yourself and be able to ask any questions you may have.
For this reason, the first session is 90 minutes.
Please complete my Consultation Form and let's find out if we are a good fit! There is no obligation to schedule a session by completing the form or after your optional FREE 15-minute consultation.