WHAT ARE SESSIONS LIKE?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for a therapist to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts 1-hour.
Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors.
It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change, and create greater awareness in their lives.
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy at Hudson Counseling Services. I can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues, and adolescent issues.
Many people also find that I can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. I can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.
WHAT HAPPENS AT MY FIRST SESSION?
On your first visit you may feel, excited, fearful, hopeful, happy, sad, or a whole range of emotions. Many clients report that their first session was the hardest and after that, it got easier. During the first session, you can expect to give a brief personal or family history. I will ask you what brought you to therapy as well as what you want to change and/or work on. You may even begin to develop some goals for yourself.
During the first session, you will want to ask me any questions about the treatment you may have. You want to feel comfortable working with a therapist and during the first session, you will see if there is a “good fit” between you and I. Any paperwork that you were required to fill out will also be reviewed and discussed during the initial session. Prior to our first session, I will ask that you complete some basic intake forms electronically on a patient portal. This will help me better understand what your goals are and obtain some background and history. I ask that you fill out the forms as accurately as possible. I will be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have regarding the paperwork during our initial visit.
WHEN WILL SEE THE EFFECTS OF THERAPY?
This depends on several factors which include: The reason you came to therapy, your commitment to therapy, and your active participation between sessions. Clients that benefit most from therapy are actively involved in their treatment, both in and out of sessions. Being active during your session means being open and honest with a therapist and willing to change. Being active outside of sessions means applying what you have learned in therapy to your everyday life. This may include the use of a diary, reading a certain book, doing relaxation exercises...etc. If you feel you are not seeing results quickly enough through therapy, I urge you to discuss this with me during sessions.
HOW LONG WILL I BE IN THERAPY?
The length of therapy varies upon the individual. Some come to therapy to focus on one issue and may only be in therapy for a brief period, often as short as a few months or twelve sessions. Others may come to therapy for reasons that may include deeper explorations and delving into the past, which could take several months to years.
IS THERAPY CONFIDENTIAL?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include: Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse.
The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately. If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police and the person being threatened. If a client intends to harm himself or herself the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
When the client is a minor (under the age of 18), certain issues can not be kept confidential and will be disclosed to the adolescent's parent/guardian when necessary. This refers to when an adolescent is in danger of harming themselves or others. Most information between a therapist and an adolescent is kept confidential. Confidentiality will be explained and discussed thoroughly during the initial therapy session.
WHAT ABOUT MEDICATION?
In some cases, therapy along with medication is the right course of treatment. I am not a medical doctor and therefore cannot prescribe medications. However, if at any time during your treatment you feel that medication will benefit you, I am able to offer referrals to Board Certified Psychiatrists.