Preparing for Therapy


In the time between now and our first session, see if you can watch for times when your concern does not bother you as much or is not quite as bad. The kinds of things that are happening in these times may provide us with some important clues about successful solutions. You may also want to make a list for me of the things that you have tried before that have not worked. That way, we can make sure to avoid repeating ineffective attempted solutions.


Completing Paperwork


When you arrive, I will have a clipboard on a chair with all the forms you need to read and complete before we begin our session. If you plan to complete the forms right before your session, please arrive 15 minutes in advance of our scheduled time to make sure you have enough time to complete the forms. You may also complete these forms in advance and bring them with you. Click here to print out and complete the Disclosure Statement, Intake Questionnaire, and Payment Authorization.


Our First Session


During our first face-to-face session of 50 minutes, I will focus on gaining a clearer picture of your presenting concerns and goals for therapy. I will also try to get a sense of what your life is like overall because there may be some life factors that are linked to the issues that concern you, even though that link might not be apparent immediately.

Once I have learned more about you and your concerns, I will provide you with information about the particular kinds of therapeutic approaches and techniques that have worked best for others with concerns that are similar to yours. If there are some things that you might try to get some quick relief, I will be sure to share those with you right away. 

Together, we will discuss the benefits and risks of continuing therapy together. If another therapist or service would better suit your needs, I will provide you with several referrals that you might try. I hold your time and resources in the highest respect and I want to make sure that you have access to the particular kinds of expertise that can best serve you. 


Subsequent Sessions


Typically, people begin to feel relief as soon as they have a plan for solving a problem, not once the problem is totally solved. If I am the right therapist for you, you should feel some significant relief by the end of our third session, if not before. After the first session, my focus will be less on information gathering and more on working with you to plan for the kinds of changes that will help you to live more joyfully.

You may make the most of your time between sessions by completing homework assignments that we agree upon in session; keeping a record of thoughts, dreams, and feelings pertaining to your therapy goals; clearing time in your schedule to process what you are learning; and enlisting the help of other people in your life who can support you in your growth efforts. You may also ask me to recommend books, movies, articles, workshops, or other resources that will help your progress in therapy.

While my short-term goal is to help you practice the skills you need to attain your goals in the context of a supportive, trustworthy relationship, my long-term goal is to work myself out of a job by helping you develop the relational, emotional, cognitive, physical, spiritual, and vocational resources you need to pursue long-term health and growth without my assistance. The more actively you pursue your own growth goals in and between sessions, the better your progress will be. 


Termination


You may seek a second opinion from another therapist or chose to terminate therapy at any time. Typically, this process is most rewarding when you come to feel that you have attained some or all of your goals. Together, we can discuss strategies for maintaining that good feeling of success and prepare other resources that can help support you when you encounter difficult circumstances in the future.

If for any reason, you need to leave therapy before your goals are attained, I will do whatever I can to help you to leave well. Just let me know as much in advance as you can and I will help you obtain whatever resources might help you continue your growth on your own or with another helper.

Do your homework

Preparing for Therapy

Jennifer Diebel, MA, LPC