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Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print E-mail


If this is your first time seeking counseling, you may be experiencing strong emotions and possibly uncertainty. Clients have reported feeling nervous, anxious, relaxed, excited and angry before they meet with their therapist. Regardless of how you may be feeling, you are making the right step towards finding the help that you need. Don’t hesitate to talk about this with your therapist.


Following are some questions that are most frequently asked:

I’ve never seen a therapist before. How do I know if you can help me?

You have taken the first step by searching on-line to find a therapist you think could help. The next step is to make that first phone call. I offer a free, no obligation, telephone consultation, so that you can ask your questions, and we both can decide if we’d be a good fit. If you decide to make an appointment, we’ll use the first one or two sessions to continue that decision-making process. By the end of the first session, you should have a pretty good idea if you think we could work together. If, at any time, you feel that I am not the right therapist for you, please let me know. In that case, I would be happy to give you some alternate referrals. After all, this is a big step you are taking, and you want to work with the therapist who is right for you.

What happens during the first session?

Starting from the time I meet you in the waiting room, we begin the process of getting to know each other. Between the time we spoke by phone and the date of your appointment, you may have realized you have more questions. That is how we will start – with me answering any other questions you might have. Next, you will have a chance to tell me why you feel you need some help – why you have made that appointment. Even if you have already told me on the phone, it will be important for me to hear it again, probably in more detail. You will have some paperwork to sign and I will take some general information from you for my files. Then, we will just talk. I will have lots of questions to ask you, so that I can get a clear idea of your needs and so I will know if I think I can help. All of this will probably take most of the session time. If you think you would like to return, we will talk about goal-setting and how I think we should be working to help you feel better.

How often will we meet?

That can vary depending on the issues you are working on and is a decision that we make together. Usually therapy starts with weekly sessions and then may taper down to every other week when you have made significant progress toward solving the issues that brought you into therapy

How long will therapy take?

The length of therapy depends on many factors such as what issues you want to work on and whether you are able to practice in between sessions the ideas and skills we discuss in session. Some families and individuals find that just a few sessions are sufficient to solve or significantly reduce their problems. Others decide to work with me for many months or sometimes a year or more. My intent is for you to experience long-lasting change in the shortest time possible. No matter how long you work with me, my goal is for you to walk away from every session with some emotional relief and a clearer perspective on your situation. I am always for you to take away ideas about strategies to try or skills to practice in between sessions.

What is your cancellation policy?

Your appointment time is reserved solely for you. As is customary with most professionals, if you cancel your appointment, a 24-hour notice is required. When you do not show up for an appointment or cancel with less than a 24-hour notice, you will be expected to pay a $40 fee before your next appointment. Please understand that you health insurance does not pay for missed sessions.

I don’t want anyone else to know I am seeing a therapist. Is this confidential?

I am not allowed (by law) to tell anyone else I even know who you are. Anything we talk about is just between us. However, there are some exceptions to that requirement. If I think you might seriously hurt yourself or someone else, I must insure that you get help, even if that means telling someone else. If I am aware of abuse of a child, dependent or older adult, that, too, must be reported. When you are in my office, I will more fully explain these exceptions. HIPAA laws protect your privacy and are given with your informed consent at the first session. Your private health information will not be released without your written consent except in the situations outlined by HIPAA.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 22:38