The initial appointment will include a full diagnostic assessment that may last between 60 – 90 minutes. At that time, your therapist will describe the therapy process that is most appropriate, as well as recommendations for treatment. Over the first few sessions, the therapist will work collaboratively with you to develop a treatment plan most appropriate for you or your family.
Therapy is about building an exploratory relationship with your therapist and establishing the experience as a place where you can safely heal, learn, and grow. Therapy becomes that experience you look forward to that facilitates the changes you want to make in your life.
You can expect confidentiality – no exceptions.
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.
You can expect progress.
With consistent engagement in sessions, a collaborative effort from you and your clinician, you should see improvements in your mood and your ability to respond to your mental health issues. Therapy is not instantaneous, but it also isn’t endless; you should know the goals you’re working toward and have scheduled check-ins with your therapist to discuss progress and reassess the timeline to make sure you attain them.
You can expect consistency – as long as you are consistent yourself.
For therapy to work, you must show up regularly, actively engage in discussions, and consistently utilized strategies discussed. Consequently, you can expect your therapist to be consistent in return by making time for you, providing insights and alternative skills, as well as keeping you accountable.
Understanding what happens in therapy and what to expect from therapy is the best start to achieving your goals. With these expectations clarified, you’re well see changes in your life.