This is the first step. If you have never been to therapy before, please do not let this be a deterrent for starting your journey. Everyone needs help now and then. The therapist will work with you and will help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing. In the first meeting, the therapist will get to know you by asking about your presenting issues and gain a brief history and background. They will also assess sleep, diet, hygiene, and social relationships. They will also provide clear communication and feedback along the way and for those who are in therapy for the first time. This process will be explained so that you will feel comfortable.
Someone might seek therapy when they feel that a situation or problem becomes too overwhelming to handle on their own. Oftentimes people feel like they might need additional help on working through a problem that they have been unsuccessful at solving with friends or family and would like the help of a trained professional. Therapy can help you approach a situation in a new way-teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, express yourself without judgment or expectations, and help you to listen to yourself.
You are never forced to do anything you are uncomfortable with therapy. However, if there is a subject or topic you are avoiding or uncomfortable with, that is usually what needs to be discussed or processed. We respect client’s boundaries and preferences, however, it will be pointed out to you what might be preventing you from progressing.
Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can vary for each person. In the session, a general outline and treatment plan will be established during the first couple of sessions between you and your therapist. There is no way to expedite or speed up the process of therapy, however, the more open and willing you are to the process- the more you will get out of it.
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist, and we take the trust of my clients very seriously. In your consent forms, you are provided with a copy of the disclosure agreement and this is also discussed and clarified in the first session as well. Sometimes there are situations where you want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Psychiatrist, Attorney) but by law, your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission. State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations; 1. If a client threatens or attempts to commit suicide or otherwise conducts him/herself in a manner in which there is a substantial risk of incurring serious bodily harm. 2. If a client threatens grave bodily harm or death to another person. 3. If the therapist has reasonable suspicion that a client or other named victim is the perpetrator, observer of, or actual victim of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of children under the age of 18 years. 4. Suspicions as stated above in the case of an elderly person who may be subjected to these abuses. 5. Suspected neglect of the parties named in items #3 and #4. 6. If a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena for information stated on the subpoena. 7. If a client is in therapy or being treated by order of a court of law or if the information is obtained for the purpose of rendering an expert report to an attorney. 8. If a client involves a therapist in a conspiracy to commit a crime or a conspiracy to avoid detection from prosecution.
Good Faith Notice
You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical and mental health care will cost. Under the law, health care providers are required to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including psychotherapy services.
For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises.