What to Expect
While each therapeutic experience will be a little different, there are a few basic things you can expect from therapy:
Standards of Practice
1) Unconditional positive regard and respect.
2) Strict confidentiality (however, there are a few important limitations to this, namely court subpoenas or threat of harm to self or others).
3) The right to privacy: you have the right to deny exploring a given topic if it feels unsafe. This also means you get to set the pace for therapy (i.e. how deep/personal how fast).
4) If at any point you find that something in therapy isn't working well for you, please don't hesitate to bring it up in session. I am open to making adjustments to better suit your needs/goals! If we cannot reach a satisfactory solution together, I am more than willing to help you connect with another therapist who is better suited to your style of therapy. You come first.
The Basic Flow of Therapy
Upon setting up an initial session, I will send you an 'intake form' and 'informed consent form'. The informed consent form helps inform you about the therapeutic process, while the intake form includes a series of questions that help me get to know you better. If you are able, I ask that you complete both forms and bring them to our first session together. This will help our first session go more efficiently (though it is not required).
Our first session will be largely spent going through the information given on the forms in order to gain any necessary clarification or additional information. We will also spend time talking about your goals for therapy.
The second session generally involves continued exploration of your history and what's bringing you to therapy. In order for me to effectively help you, it is crucial I gain a solid understanding of who you are, some of your major experiences, and your worldview--essentially, what makes you unique! We will continue to explore these things throughout therapy as well.
Subsequent sessions involve some combination of exploration, insight (ie. making useful connections), and action (trying out new skills/behaviours/tools where appropriate). We might talk about a particular theme from one session to the next, or each session may involve a different topic based on what's most pertinent to you.
Therapy may end for a variety of reasons...
If either of us feel we are not well-matched as a therapist and client (perhaps my approach doesn't suit you, or my training/expertise is not adequate for your needs/goals), I will do my best to help you connect with services that better match your goals/needs. Once again, you come first as the client.
Alternatively, therapy may end or be suspended because life circumstances change. Perhaps finances become tight or availability changes for either of us. If this becomes the case, let's talk about it and see what we can arrange in order to meet whatever existing needs you may have.
The best of all the reasons for therapy to end is simply that your goals for therapy have been met (after all, the goal of therapy is to work oneself out of a job!).