YOU MADE THE APPOINTMENT, NOW WHAT?
Most of our clients make initial contact with us at the peak of crisis for them - when “it” becomes intolerable. That intensity may actually carry you through the initial contact and making of the appointment. We would think and hope that this provides some relief in the short term. However, along with the relief, there is often anxiety about what will happen in the first session. So, let’s talk about this.
After you make the appointment, with your permission, we will send you a very basic intake form via email that you are invited to complete and return to us through our practice software, Theranest, prior to your appointment. (Our office is a paperless. Any paper documents that are received are scanned and then shredded).
Based on the information in your intake, we will ask you to fill out certain assessments when you come for your appointment to begin figuring out whether we are the right “fit” for you and able to provide the services you need. These forms will be brought to you in the waiting room by your therapist who will pop in to greet you, explain the paperwork, and what to do once you complete it. The assessments typically take between 10-20 minutes.
Your therapist will return to collect you and your paperwork and take you to his or her office for the completion of the intake. The total time for an intake meeting is 60-90 minutes. Plan on 90 minutes.
Once in session, we will go over our role as mandated reporters and what that means for confidentiality. The therapist will quickly review your paperwork and also in what may feel like excruciating detail, the info you sent in the intake via email. This is because we have an ethical duty to ensure that we understand your situation to the best of our ability and that we are providing services in a timely manner based on your needs. If suicidality is a part of your history, then expect us to discuss this with you. We will also be looking for potential diagnoses and/or to understand why you have been diagnosed with what you have.
By this point, you may be feeling frustrated that you have not been able to get to the “it” that brought you in even though you’ve been in the office for quite awhile at this point and the therapist keeps asking questions. Please know we will absolutely get to “it”.
To help us get to “it” faster, please come prepared to provide us with contact info for other service providers from internists to pediatricians to psychiatrists and/or other therapists. We take a team approach to your healing and will contact other providers as we feel necessary, but not without your consent unless it is a matter of safety.
We truly believe that therapy is not a lifetime commitment; it is about healing and living your life on your terms without us as soon as possible. To that end, we will ask you your goals for therapy and how we will know you have achieved them. What would that look like? It is ok if you cannot answer that right away – just know we will ask.
We hope this helps manage some of the “unknowns” of our first meeting. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to seeing you soon!