What to Expect When You Call to Make an Appointment
When you call or email to start therapy, you will talk with one of our administrative staff who will ask you some demographic and insurance information and about why you are seeking therapy. These questions help them to set you up with a therapist that accepts your insurance and is trained to help with the challenges you are experiencing. The administrative staff will schedule you for your initial appointment with the therapist and contact your insurance. It is always a good idea for you to check with your insurance as well, so you will know ahead of time if you will owe a copay for your sessions. The administrative staff will also send you some paperwork to fill out prior to your first appointment with the therapist. This information is sometimes required by insurance, but also helps the therapist to know a little about you before your first session.
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
Your first session with a therapist will consist of the therapist collecting information from you about why you are seeking therapy, about your history and about the goals you want to work on in therapy. The therapist will talk with you about if and to what extent you would like others such as family to be involved in your therapy. This first session is typically about an hour. During this session, the therapist will talk with you about the frequency of visits moving forward. Frequently, therapists will recommend meeting weekly or once every 2 weeks and sessions are typically 45-60 minutes.
What to Expect from Therapy
The goals you want to work on and how you will work to accomplish these goals are your treatment plan. Your therapist will review progress on these goals with you periodically throughout therapy. You can always adjust or change goals as you would like by talking with your therapist.
In therapy, the therapist will listen to you and be able to be non-judgmental and objective, since unlike family and friends, they are not directly impacted by your problem(s). They will help you understand yourself and problem(s) better to be able to deal with things differently. The therapist may teach you about what you are dealing with and suggest some tools or strategies that might be helpful, but they will not tell you what to do. They will help you to find your own solutions that fit with your own value system.
There is usually no specific time frame for therapy because everyone is different. You can always ask your therapist how long they think the therapy will last, but this can change based on what you need. Essentially, therapy is over once you have accomplished your goals.