What should I expect my first appointment to look like?

During your first appointment, I will ask what brings you to therapy. You will have an opportunity to tell me about your concerns, talk about your background and personal history. Time will also be provided for you to ask me questions about how I work and we will determine if we think we’d be a good fit to work together.

How long is a session and how long does treatment take?

Sessions are 50 minutes long.

The duration of treatment is a complicated question as it varies according to each person’s unique situation, their specific challenges and their treatment goals. In general, the longer the duration of the problem and the greater the severity of the stressor, the longer the therapy.

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management and creative blocks. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the struggles of daily life. Work in therapy can provide clients a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or clarify a solution to a problem. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

 

For more information on the benefits of psychodynamic psychotherapy I recommend the following article by Jonathan Shedler:
The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Is what I share in therapy confidential?

Yes. Therapy sessions are confidential. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with very sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. The privacy of behavioral health records is protected by law. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team, but by law I cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

There are circumstances in which I am obligated by law to disclose information, such as when the safety of a client or other is at risk.

As a licensed social worker, I follow the professional ethical standards of the National Association of Social Works, the Code of Conduct established by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners and HIPPA.

What if medication is needed?

If we begin treatment and we determine that medication might be helpful, I can refer you to a psychiatrist. Working with your doctor, you can determine what’s best for you. Sometimes, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action and your physician and I can work together to coordinate your care. It is, however, well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of distress and the behavior patterns that curb progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.