Individual Therapy can be a luxurious experience. It’s just you and the therapist and the time is set aside specifically for you to get what you need. Perhaps you need a sympathetic ear to listen to your struggles. Maybe you need some advice about how to handle a difficult situation. You might think you’re going crazy and want to be assured that you’re going to be alright. You might be thinking of ending a relationship. Or beginning one.
You may want to deal with problems as they’re happening in the here-and-now. You may want to revisit old times and resolve problems that have existed for decades. Maybe you’ve been carrying a secret or an injury or a grudge and it’s time to let go. You might be grieving a loss that happened last week or one that happened a quarter-century ago, or both. It’s up to you what you want to focus on in your sessions.
To begin with, you are required to fill out a rather lengthy history form so that I can get a great deal of information very quickly. During your first session, I review that history with you and fill in any information that may need further elaboration. Then we’re ready to begin. We will typically start with traditional ‘talk therapy,’ which means we’ll just sit in office chairs and you’ll tell me what’s going on. I’ll ask questions, make comments, and you’ll get a chance to tell me more about the situation.
After I get to know you and your situation better, I will start to suggest activities or exercises that I think might be helpful. You may be assigned therapeutic homework. It may be written homework or you may be assigned an activity to complete before your next session. We may begin doing more creative things during our sessions as well. I may suggest you try drawing a picture or writing a poem. We may do some role plays. I might have you visualize a relaxing scene or a disturbing scene. In any event, it’s always up to you how much you do or don’t want to do. You’re the boss! Not every technique works for every person and we may need to try a few things before we find what really works well for you. All I ask is that you be patient with yourself during the process and that you give me feedback about the things you’re asked to try.
Your treatment schedule is tailored to your specific needs and to your lifestyle. We can meet as frequently or infrequently as you want, provided it makes sense clinically. Your sessions can be 45-minutes long, 60-minutes, 90-minutes, or even longer, whatever you prefer. We can meet several times right up front to get started, then have a break while you try out some things, then meet several times again later. We can meet intensely for a month or two, more leisurely for 4-6 months, then periodically over several years. Some clients like to meet regularly for many, many years. It’s up to you. I won’t keep you in therapy any longer than makes sense. The goal is for me to be out of your life as quickly as possible, but no faster than would be comfortable for you.
Sometimes when we finally get close to the issues that are the real problems, people want to drop out of therapy. They start to miss their appointments, forget their appointments, lose their appointment cards, or say they will call in to schedule but never call in. We understand that sometimes therapy can get scary and you may want to back off. No problem. Just say so. If you want to take a break, we can. However, if you just drift away without saying anything, we do contact you repeatedly. If you’re going to quit, we pretty much make you say you’re going to quit or make you ignore about 3-5 contact attempts from us. After that, if there is still no response, we will close your file. You will, however, be welcome to pick back up any time you want, just give us a call and let us know you’d like to get started again.
When therapy ends normally and we close your file here at the clinic, you can always come back for something else. A client might see us for several months about an issue they are having with a child, and then come back several years later when they are dealing with their elderly parents, then come back many years later when they are dealing with their children leaving for college. You can come get the tools you need, then take them back to your life. You do not need to stay in therapy indefinitely.
And, if at any time, you decide that therapy just isn’t for you or that I’m not the right provider for you – no problem! We can refer you to someone else in the community if you like or you can just terminate your therapy. You’re in charge of your treatment every step of the way!
Call 480-705-5007 to begin Individual Therapy