I am only accepting new clients wanting to work intensively with EMDR and not currently accepting weekly clients.  Visit here for more information.

Your first therapy session has two main goals:

1. Assess your circumstances

Prior to our first meeting a customized workbook will be provided to you to assess your current need. 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 our work will entail. It is important you take an active role in your healing.

2. Build a relationship

Our first meeting, prior to the intensive, for 30 minutes will be at no charge.  I’ll get to know you a little, and you’ll get to know me a little. I encourage you to ask questions. 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.

3. We will then schedule a series of meetings to work on the targets we establish. Sessions will be held in person, if requested, if the client has been fully vaccinated for COVID.

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, or if this is an online session, you may email them to me at my encrypted account cmileslcsw@hushmail.com or you can mail them in advance of your session.