Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you have a different question, please do give me a call.
This will be an opportunity for both of us to get a sense of each other. It will be a chance for me to gather some detailed information about you and what has brought you to therapy, and it will give you a chance to see if you like my style of working and if there is enough of a connection between us to proceed.
An initial in person session will help you make a preliminary determination. At that initial session you can check in with yourself about how you feel towards me and whether you think my style of working fits for you. Research shows that therapeutic fit is the most important factor in successful counselling. A good fit is one where you feel empowered to ask questions about your therapy and welcomed to negotiate changes in direction—where you genuinely feel you are in the driver’s seat, directing your own process to meet your goals and needs. In the end it is your call completely and you should trust your gut.
Sessions with individuals typically last between 50-60 minutes. If you are a couple sessions will be a bit longer to give everyone a chance to be heard – typically 80-90 minutes.
There is not a typical time for someone to be in counselling or psychotherapy – it depends on what you bring, what you would like to work on and in what depth. Brief counselling tends to be anything from 3 to 12 sessions. Longer-term psychotherapy, tends to run longer, from 12 to 20 sessions and beyond. Psychotherapy usually explores issues in greater depth and leaves a more lasting effect.
Some people report feeling better immediately or after just a few sessions. Others sometimes experience an increase in unpleasant symptoms at the beginning of therapy, as difficult issues may be stirred up. If you are able to manage this phase of therapy, there is usually great relief as the work progresses. All throughout the process I will help you learn new ways to cope with unpleasant symptoms.
Confidentiality is a very important part of every therapist’s ethical and legal responsibility to our clients. We are required to keep your information strictly confidential and to inform you of all limits to confidentiality. There are only a few circumstances in which we are legally obligated to break confidentiality and I will make sure that you are aware of what those are at your first session. You will be asked to sign an “Informed Consent” form at the beginning of your therapy, which will be a contract between us.
It is my belief that people should not be denied the help they need because they cannot afford to pay for it. As a therapist in private practice I am balancing this belief with my need to earn a living. I strike a balance by offering a limited number of sliding scale spots. If you need a sliding scale spot, please don’t hesitate to speak with me about availability. Fees are negotiated based on what is fair and affordable. If your financial situation should change at any time during therapy, I trust you to re-negotiate the fee.