What to Expect?
Research has indicated that the most important aspect of a successful counseling experience is “fit” between clients and providers.
If you have questions regarding insurance, paymement and scheduling, or quick questions about our approach we can do a quick (10 min) phone consult. However we usually schedule an initial evaluation (50 min or 90 min; regular fee) for us to assess some of your needs and for you to ask questions a get a “feel” for how we work.
After receiving your call or e-mail the director will contact you to set up an initial appointment and you will meet with her and she will assess which clinician in our practice may be the most suitable to work with you, or with whom you may “click” the best (based on personality, temperament, training, experience, or issue being addressed).
We partner with you to respectfully guide you in the right direction, to get unstuck, take risks necessary to grow, gain insight into your patterns, and enhance your sense of purpose and connection to others and the world. E-mail or call us to get this process started.
After the initial consult, we will let you know which clinician we think may be the best suited to work with you and to schedule your next appointment. You will then meet with the clinician who is assigned to you and you will be able to get a sense of his or her style and jointly you can set goals and decide how often you may want to meet. It is important for you to know that you are not obligated to continue if our style does not fit for you, as we want to make sure you feel comfortable, at ease, and find the provider that will best help you.
If you decide to continue working with us we will then begin the complex process of therapy in which we will explore your situation and begin to gain insight into the how and why you are feeling the way you do, and how you can use this situation as a learning experience. Then you’ll be encouraged to begin taking risks to try different behaviors. During the entire process we provide a warm, caring, and compassionate environment.
The 5 Stages of Therapy or Coaching
During the first stage “assessment and goal setting”, is the stage during which you teach us about you, your experiences, your beliefs, your strengths, your weaknesses, and the sitations that are bringing you to seek help. Jointly we set goals and benchmarks that will allow us both to know you are improving.
The second stage, ”Understanding and Insight”; during this stage we spend some time exploring the why you are feeling the way you are feeling or the how you got into this situation. This is of primary importance as it helps you understand why you are dealing in the way you are and also elicits a process of self- evaluation that you will use for the rest of your life.
The third stage, “Building coping strategies”, during this stage we focus on building on your strengths and teaching you new coping strategies and exploring different ways to deal with difficult emotions and situations.
The fourth stage, “working through”, where you take risks to begin making changes. This is perhaps the longest stage, where you begin implementing the coping strategies more successfully and you begin, or continue to take changes in your thoughts, behaviors, feelings or reactions, and building new synaptic pathways that are more adaptive.
The fifth (and final) stage, ” Relapse prevention and termination”, is the final stage in which we review what strategies worked for you and which didn’t, how you made the changes or took needed risks, and ways in which you may be able to “recognize, regroup, and rebalance” yourself in the future, if you find yourself in similar circumstances. In a way teaching you along the way, how to deal with hardship, so that you are more capable the next time life strikes.
We also recognize that this process requires trust and safety and therefore we collaborate with you to help you understand the thoughts and feelings that impact your patterns of behavior so you may choose to make certain changes. The time it may take to go through all these stages will depend mostly on you, the time you take to work on these things outside of therapy, and your readiness to take risks and make the changes you desire in your life. Throughout the process you will have someone by your side who is partnering with you to encourage you, guide you, provide feedback, education, and to celebrate your accomplishments.
Psychologists have spent many years in school learning about theories, testing and gaining supervised experience working with a wide variety of individuals. By the time we are finished with our education most have spent between 4 and 8 years working with individuals, couples, groups and/or families. We have spent a year in an APA-internship setting in which we work full time providing counseling, psychotherapy or testing services and receive close supervision. Lastly, in order to receive licensure in this state, we have to pass a very diffcult exam and accrue another 2000 hours of clinical work. So you will be working with highly experienced and trained clinicians.
Give us a call, or send an e-mail, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
We look forward to hearing from you!