What happens in therapy
Many people worry about their first session of therapy. However, it is my experience that therapy clients often leave their first therapy session with new hope about their situation and ideas about how to begin to change. I provide a safe and supportive space for my clients, enabling an environment where therapy can be a positive experience.
A description of the first hour in therapy:
During the first session I will ask a series of questions in order to understand the background and context of your concerns. Clients often experience these questions as a relief as they do not have to lead the conversation before being comfortable with me.
We will further begin to explore a little deeper, what your concerns are and where they may come from.
If time allows, we will explore potential ways of addressing your concerns. These may include activities you can do at home or they may focus on planning for following sessions.
You may also be asked to fill out some questionnaires before your next session.
I approach psychotherapy in a number of different ways depending on your needs and the concerns you are seeking to resolve. My role is sometimes one of organizing and probing, sometimes educating, but always supportive. Your therapy should be a place for the development of new ideas, deepening of self-knowledge and emotional exploration, all in the context of privacy and understanding.
Duration and scheduling:
- Psychotherapy can take anywhere from one session to several years. Though many problems can be addressed satisfactorily in around 10-15 sessions, many clients opt to stay in therapy to address other or related concerns.
- Depending on the concern and your ability to work on your problem outside of therapy (homework), the frequency of sessions will be from once a week to once a month, often becoming less frequent toward the end of therapy.
- The first few sessions are often best scheduled a week apart, after which the timing can be reassessed.
- I will urge you to take an active role in deciding how therapy should progress when you are ready. Many aspects of therapy should be a collaborative process.
- Therapy can be an emotional and deeply meaningful experience, and as such it is often a very good idea to make sure to end the therapy well. I prefer to have a last session where we talk about the progress, where the client started and what has been gained, and to properly say goodbye to each other.