Your First Visit
Your first therapy session has two main goals:
1. Assess your circumstances
The first meeting will be used to assess your current circumstances. While my areas of expertise may be consistent with your reasons for coming to therapy, we will need to address specific areas that are unique to you. From there, we will be able to better determine what type of therapy is right for you, what it will entail, and what it will look like for you in terms of fitting it into your day-to-day life. In addition, I may provide you with series of actions to do outside of our therapy sessions, such as practice a certain technique or read a specific book, as it is important you take an active role in your healing.
2. Build a relationship
Our first session will be more like a two way interview. I’ll get to know you, and you’ll get to know me. I will ask you questions to help me better understand your primary issues and concerns, as well as your history in terms of other events in your life, family, childhood, and career. However, I encourage you to ask questions too. In order for therapy to be successful, it is imperative that we establish a client/therapist relationship that is supportive and honest. In fact, it is the nature – and the quality – of our relationship that will determine the success of your overall therapy goals. The success of the “meeting of the minds” with your psychotherapist is the most accurate predictor of a positive, healthy outcome to the hard work you put in towards your healing. As such, each client/therapist relationship will be unique but certain values and themes are true for all sessions, and you can expect the following:
- You can expect to be treated with compassion, empathy, respect, and understanding.
- You can expect to be presented with someone who is available to listen to you and listen to your interpretation of what you are currently experiencing.
- You can expect to receive knowledgeable and scientifically backed techniques and information to assist you in overcoming your mental health related struggles.
- You can expect to arrive in a safe, supportive, and confidential space.
- You can expect to receive real strategies and techniques you can use to enact positive changes on your life.
Is therapy confidential?
As a general rule, all therapy sessions are confidential and anything you discuss with your therapist will remain between the two of you, unless you request otherwise. This is a protection provided by rules by law, which all therapists legally need to follow, and no information from the session can be disclosed without prior written consent from the client.
There are exceptions to this law, however, and the therapist can disclose information from the session to legal authorities or appointed persons if any of the following are true:
- If the therapist suspects abuse to a child, dependent adult, elder or is made aware of domestic abuse, the therapist is required to notify legal authorities immediately.
- If the therapist suspects an individual has caused, or is threatening to cause severe bodily harm to another person, therapists are required to report it to the authorities.
- If an individual intends to harm himself or herself, for example plans for suicide, the therapist will attempt to work through this in the therapy session. If it appears to be unresolved or the client does not cooperate, additional action may need to be taken to ensure the safety of the client.
If you have any questions about any of these forms, please ask at any point. If you are coming to a face-to-face appointment, please fill out and bring a copy to your sessions. If this is an online session, you may email them to me at my encrypted account email@example.com or you can mail them in advance of your session.
- Telemedicine (This form is for usage when utilizing online or phone)
- Client Expectations of a LCSW in Louisiana (Required by the state for you to receive this information)
- Client Information
- Financial Policy 2020
- Personal History with Email Address
- PHQ – Questions (Depression)
- GAD7 Anxiety
- GAD7 Anxiety International+Trauma Questionnaire
- Authorization to Use/Disclose Private Health Information (Optional form if I need to be able to speak with other providers)
- Consent for Third Party Payment (Optional form for insurance billing if I am a provider on your plan)