Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Meeting a therapist for the first time is nerve-wracking. For someone new to therapy, therapy is a scary unknown. For someone who needs a new therapist, the heavy weight of having to "break in" a new therapist.
A first appointment with me might be different than other therapists. So, let's go through it.
It is really hard to screw up therapy. Show up. Don't murder me. We're probably good. I am aware that the first meeting is weird. I'm aware that you're not yourself yet. I work really hard to be myself that first time, so you get a decent "flavor" of what it's like to work with me.
The first session is MY job interview. You are hiring for a job: be your therapist. I would like that job. During the first session, you're interviewing me to see if I'm a good fit. You have power here! You get to decide. If I'm not a good fit, cool! I'm proud of you for knowing what you need! If I'm a good fit, neat! We get to work together and you're pretty cool.
My office is set up to be comfy. Don't worry about dressing up. Don't worry about being delicate or proper. My furniture is sturdy. All bodies can flop on the couch. I buy tissues by the case; help yourself! There's water. There's weighted blankets and stuffies and all sorts of fidgets. I have make-up wipes for when the mascara runs. We're dealing with hard stuff, so be physically as comfortable as possible.
If you're using insurance to pay for your therapy, I have to diagnose you. I take a collaborative approach, including you completely in the process. I ask many questions and provide lots of information. I try to make sure that the diagnosis captures a complete picture of what's going on with your mental health. But, yes, it sucks to diagnose the first time we meet.
Common questions: My sessions are an hour long. Yes, you have to pay for parking; bring quarters or use the ParkMobile App. My building has a secure entrance after 5 pm, so if you have an evening appointment, just wait in the entry; I'll let you in at your scheduled time. It is easiest to contact me by text. I don't often answer phone calls, because I'm in session. You can also email. I use zoom for telehealth appointments.
I look forward to getting to know you!