Counseling does not have to be a scary, frightening experience if you know what to expect. There are several types of sessions you may experience, including a consultation session, an intake session, an individual session, a family session, a couples session, and group sessions. All counseling will take place inside of an office unless otherwise specified or agreed upon. Group sessions will take place inside of a conference room, a larger room designed to accommodate larger groups of people.
A free consultation limited to 20 minutes is available to you at no charge to answer any questions you may have that are specific to your situation or just to answer any general questions you may have about counseling and/or the counseling process.
Before beginning treatment of any kind, you will be expected to fill out and sign what is referred to as intake documentation. Among the forms you will be asked to fill out include a Client Intake form for basic information, a Client Questionnaire which asks more in-depth questions about client family and medical history, a financial disclosure for payment processing, and a professional disclosure from your therapist. The professional disclosure will detail information about me, your therapist, my experience and training, social media policies, legal policies, cancellation policies, and other important information necessary on a therapeutic level and legal level. Another form available to you is a Release of Information form which would allow me to release and request certain information which you specify from your primary care providers and psychiatrists as well as other individuals and providers that you specify. Please fill out these forms truthfully and honestly so that we can work together effectively to develop a counseling treatment plan for you.
The intake session is the very first session that you will experience in counseling treatment. This session is designed to be an information-gathering session to which we will discuss your reasons and goals for attending counseling as well as work together to decide upon the treatment plan to work towards your goals. The information gathered will be based mainly upon the information provided on the intake paperwork as well as other information surrounding your reasons for seeking counseling and any other information which is conducive to providing the proper treatment for you or your family. This session typically lasts a full hour to ensure that all information is gathered and that there is no rush throughout this process. This session type will only be done at the beginning of your treatment. Once this session has been completed, there will not be any further intake sessions during the course of your treatment.
The intake session is also designed for you to meet with me and interview me as well to make sure that I will be a great fit for you, too! If after this session you feel that I am not the counselor for you, then you are under no obligation to set up further appointments. I want what is best for you and your treatment goals.
When working with children and teens, the parent or guardian will be invited in the room to assist with the intake process to ensure that all pertinent and necessary information is gathered, including information the child or teen may not know.
Individual sessions are one-on-one sessions which will allow for in-depth exploration of your current situation, issues, and problems to which you would like to discuss and work on. In these sessions are where the true therapeutic relationship is established and where the healing work begins. In these sessions we will work on what you bring to the session, as we know that life is constantly changing and what we discuss one week may not be what you need to discuss the next week.
When working with children and teens, the only time the parent or guardian will be in the room is during the intake session. To provide a safe place for the child or teen to be able to talk in confidence, I do not allow the parent or guardian in the room unless there is an immediate need which pertains to the confidentiality exceptions or if the presence of the parent or guardian is needed for treatment. At the beginning of each session, the parent or guardian is allowed time to discuss current issues which may be necessary for effective treatment of the child or teen. Full sessions with both child or teen and parent will result in being charged a family session.
Family therapy is a one-hour session designed to address a family’s pain and to heal a family’s wounds. Working with the present members of the family, we will work together to build communication and trust among the family members, creating a safe place in which each member can feel safe to open up and share. In our lives we learn from relationships, and we are also healed in relationships. These sessions will include two or more members of a family working together to reach a common goal. We will laugh together, cry together, play together, and utilize therapeutic techniques to improve, establish, and heal relationships within the family system.
Some common reasons and uses of family therapy include parenting issues, child behavioral or emotional issues, divorce and separation issues focusing on co-parenting, blended families, extended families, among others. Keep in mind that “family” does not restrict itself to just blood relatives. “Family” can extend to anyone who is involved in a client’s life, who provides a long-term support role who may or may not be in the same household.
Couples counseling, also commonly referred to as marriage counseling or pre-marital counseling, is offered to couples who want to work together to establish, re-establish, or heal relationships as well as resolve conflict within the relationship. Couples counseling is not restricted to only married or engaged couples. Relationship counseling can be provided to any pair in a relationship who desire to work together towards common goals. Each couples session can be one or two hours long depending on your personal goals and preferences.