What can I expect in my first session, and how can I make the most of it?
Now that you have taken the first step and scheduled your first appointment with us we would like you to know what to expect and how you can make the most of it.
Please print out the new client forms and bring them with you to your first appointment.
Your first appointment will be spent information-gathering, reviewing your completed forms, getting signatures, and discussing how you will pay for services going forward. If you will be using insurance to pay for services please make sure to bring in your current insurance card and a valid form of identification. We will also spend time talking about your background, and most importantly what you would like to gain from therapy. Our job as therapists is to guide people where they want to go, so being honest and open in every session will be a great help to us and eventually to you. Additionally, this is the time to for you to ask questions and for all of us to decide if we are a good fit. If we determine the working relationship is not a good fit, we will provide you with a referral to another agency or therapist. If we all feel this will be a safe and productive relationship we will schedule your next appointment based on your desire to be seen weekly or bi-weekly and get to work.
How long will I be in therapy?
Some people want the therapy experience to be quick, where the problem is solved in six sessions or less. If this is you, please let us know so we can utilize a therapy approach that better suits that outcome. That being said, you should not expect that all problems can be solved within a predetermined time-frame. Some problems simply can’t be sorted through as quickly as others. Rest assured though we do not want to keep you in therapy longer than you want to be here, but the reality is that therapy can sometimes be a lengthy process.
Some people can end up going to therapy for many months or even years. This usually happens because the situation has never been resolved, while working on one issue one or several more surface, or because they like being able to come in for an hour each week to talk about their life. This is where the “I’ll be in therapy forever” concept arises and frankly, we would like for you to avoid that. While therapy does involve having a professional/goal driven relationship, it is not the kind of relationship that should take the place of those you have with your friends and loved ones. We want your last session to be the one in which you leave feeling accomplished and as though you have found some sort of resolution to the things that brought you in to begin with. The average time for therapy is 6 to 12 months, but that is only an average and the amount of time someone is in therapy is highly individualized.
What to expect from therapy
Therapy is a highly personal and emotional experience and as such it can often come with the feeling that things are getting worse instead of better. That is because change is hard. It will be hard for you and sometimes hard for those around you to accept the new you you are becoming. Stick with it! You have gotten to where you are either because of being afraid to change or by simply not knowing what or how to change. It will get better as long as you are consistent and committed to the process.
All therapists have at the very least earned a master's degree and have spent years studying how behavioral patterns affect relationships, work environments, and your ability to resolve conflict and effectively communicate. We become experts in systems so we can help you get to the point of understanding the things that are driving your habits and choices. In other words, we are experts in knowing what helps people change. That being said, we only have you for an hour at a time and the real work has to be done out in your daily life. Therapy is most effective when you practice the skills you are learning in the areas of your life you are wanting to change.
Lastly, we are not a crisis intervention service. If you are in crisis or danger in the Tucson area please call 911 or the Crisis Response Center at 520-622-6000.
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