If you are new to therapy or wonder how our sessions will go, what is expected of you, and what you expect of me, this page should help give you some insight into the process.
1. In the first session, I will need to complete a brief assessment of what has brought you to therapy as well as some other personal information. (if there is any information you do not want to share, you do not have to.). The first session if you are wanting regular therapy would be booking the 50 minute session. After the initial assessment, we will work together on developing the goals for the therapy. Other follow up sessions can be as long as you want from the available time slots.
2. It is important that you understand that counseling does take work on your part as well as mine. The truth is many are not actually really ready to make the necessary changes they need to address their issues. It takes courage, humility, and a willing heart to face any consequences and make the hard but righteous choices for change. This method of counseling requires that I ask multiple questions throughout the therapy. Therapy is not about me just giving you answers or directions, therapy is about helping you to discover your own strengths and your own directions. I hope that you are committed to yourself and making positive changes, as I am committed to helping you get to the place you want to be. Therapy is only has effective with your active participation.
3. Regular Sessions 50 or 30 minute sessions are once a week. Exceptions for more frequent sessions is on a case-by-case basis. The other shorter time slots clients can request more than once a week, but no more than 5 sessions a week.
4. Clients are expected to show up on time, but if need to cancel to do so within 24hrs of the appointment. If client is a no-show, a 20$ no-show fee will be need to be paid by client before another appointment can be booked.
5. Clients are expected to actively participate and this includes completing homework assignments because as the common saying goes, "practice makes perfect." The purpose of homework is to help clients gain insight and skills to deal with their problems.
6. I am only human, so if clients do not feel like they are getting what they want or dislike something I have said in a session, I do welcome any feedback, because my goal is be of service to my clients.
7. Clients need to be clear on what kind of therapy do you think you want right now? Here are some descriptions of what kind of therapy you like/or what type of communication you want from me: Empathetic- you want to be 'understood', not feel judged, you want to air out your issues but want gentle affirmations/validations from your therapist, but are not really looking for 'advice'. You really just want someone to "listen". Direction/Advice-you especially want actual advice, "what should I do", type of therapy, you are okay with direct advice from your therapist. You are okay with being challenged by the therapist.
8. My typical hours for live counseling are Monday through Friday between 7:00 am to 8:30 am CST and 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm CST, and on Sundays between 9:00 am to 1:00 pm CST. I stop responding to messages during the week by 8:00 pm CST. I don't do counseling or usually, respond to messages on Saturdays. Live counseling outside of my normal hours is on a case-by-case basis. Clients can message at any time, but this service is not an instant messaging service, I try to respond to messages within 24 hrs (except on weekends, messages received on a Saturday will be responded to on Sunday or Monday and during holidays I will inform clients of my availability). Counseling sessions are done via Zoom, clients will receive a secure invite for sessions. Clients are only allowed 4- 50 minute or 30 minute live sessions a month/or they can choose shorter times for mostly checkin up to 5 times a week for the 5, 10, 15 minute time slots; no more then twice a week for the 20 minute session slot. Live essions are by video and appointment only. Clients can call for questions but if counseling is needed then the session would need to be via Zoom. Clients will need to complete the contact me form to request a session, but there is no guarantee I will be available. I will respond back with my availability within the stated time frame for counseling.
9. Online therapy is okay for many, but if you start to have any thoughts of self harm or suicide, do not hesitate to call 911 or go to your nearest emergeny room, do not leave me a phone or contact me message.