The First Meeting
Interested in what happens during an initial consultation?
Perhaps you are wondering what a first appointment would look like? It may be that you imagine laying on a couch and talking about whatever comes to mind (that sounds awful by the way, and my couch is not large enough for anyone to lay on). Or you may think that a therapist will respond to everything you say with a serious nod, a solemn look, and then say (in a whispered tone) "I see, tell me more." (I'm still trying to perfect that response, but really I cannot pull it off like Freud use to do). This page will give you a little information about what to expect, and if you have other questions, feel free to give me a call and ask. I am glad to answer whatever questions you have about the first meeting.
After an appointment date has been set you will receive some paperwork requesting basic information (this takes about ten minutes to fill out). Completing this prior to our first meeting gives us more time to focus on what matters most when you arrive at my office.
During the first meeting we will talk about what you would like to accomplish in our work together. We will also talk about how the challenges you are currently facing came about, the impact they have had on your life, what solutions you have already tried, what has worked and what has not. Importantly, we will also look at the various strengths you bring to the task of making significant and lasting changes.
When someone looks for a therapist they have questions: "Have you worked with people that have this concern?": "Where were you trained?": "What approach do you take?" and so forth. It's important that your questions are answered, so we will be certain to set aside some time for that as well during the first appointment.
Toward the end of our first meeting we will discuss a general plan regarding how to move forward with solving those problems that are most important to you. Many of the people I work with decide to schedule another appointment at that time. Others prefer to give it some thought. Either approach is fine.