While I encourage prospective clients to read about my specialties, experience and approach, about trauma-informed treatment and specifically about EMDR – all available on this site – that’s often not enough.
Think of a consultation like a brief two-way interview. I get to know a little about you and your needs, and you get to ask questions and form your own impression of what it would be like to work with me. I make myself available for free consultations on the phone or in person, prior to engaging in fee-based formal assessment and treatment.
Your first therapy session has two main goals:
1. Assess your circumstances
We will take the first meeting to assess your current circumstances. While my areas of expertise may be consistent with your reasons for coming to therapy, we will need to address specific areas that are unique to you, and your current circumstances. From there, we will be able to better determine what type of therapy is right for you, what it will entail, and what it will look like for you in terms of fitting it into your day-to-day life. In addition, I may provide you with series of actions to do outside of our therapy sessions, such as practice a certain technique, or read a specific book, as it is important you take on an active role in your healing.
2. Build a relationship
I will ask you questions to help me better understand your primary issues and concerns, as well as your history in terms of other events in your life, family, childhood, and career. However, you are welcome to ask questions too. In order for therapy to be successful, it is imperative we establish a client/therapist relationship that is supportive and honest. In fact, it is the nature – and the quality – of our relationship that will determine the success of your overall therapy goals. A successful ‘meeting of the minds’ with your therapist is the most accurate predictor of a positive, healthy outcome to the hard work you put in. As such, each client/therapist relationship will be unique, but certain values and themes are true for all sessions, and you can expect the following:
- You can expect to be treated with compassion, empathy, respect, and understanding.
- You can expect to be presented with someone who is available to listen to you and listen to your interpretation of what you are currently experiencing.
- You can expect to receive knowledgeable and scientifically backed techniques and information to assist you in overcoming your mental health related struggles.
- You can expect to arrive in a safe, supportive, and confidential space.
- You can expect to receive real strategies and techniques you can use to enact positive changes on your life.
Is therapy confidential?
As a general rule, all therapy sessions are confidential and anything you discuss with your therapist will remain between the two of you, unless you request otherwise. This is as per protection rules by law, which all therapists legally need to follow, and no information from the session can be disclosed without prior written consent from the client.
There are exceptions to this law however, and the therapist can disclose information from the session to legal authorities or appointed persons if any of the following are true:
- The therapist suspects abuse to a child, dependent adult, or an elder, or are made aware of domestic abuse. These situations all require the therapist to notify law authorities immediately.
- If the therapist suspects an individual has caused, or is threatening to cause severe bodily harm to another person, therapists are required to report it to the police.
- If an individual intends to harm himself or herself, expressing to the therapist for example, plans for suicide. While the therapist will attempt to work through this in the therapy session, if it appears to be unresolved or the client does not cooperate, additional action may need to be taken to ensure the safety of the client.