The first appointment is like an “Ice Breaker” visit. Because we have never met before, this appointment is for us to get to know each other. There will also be information sharing such as fees, scheduling, privacy, and general information on the counseling process.
Every therapy session is unique and accommodates each individual and his or her specific purpose. During therapy sessions it is typical to talk about the critical issues and concerns in your current situation and/or your past. It is standard to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each appointment lasts approximately 50 minutes. On occasion, individuals who are going through a particularly difficult period may request more time per session or more than one session per week. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or longer-term, addressing more complex issues, as well as ongoing personal growth. To create lasting change in your life, it is important to take the tools explored in the therapy session and practice them outside of the therapy session. Depending on your particular situation I may suggest that you keep a journal, keep records, track changes, or review reading material. For therapy to be most effective and create lasting change you must be an active participant, both during and outside of the sessions.
When working with children and especially teens there are situations in which parental involvement is regularly necessary, and there are situations in which less parental input may be more beneficial for the treatment progress. Each situation is unique. Parents should take comfort in the fact that the therapist will ALWAYS involve parents when situations require it. It is my role to assist in building the communication bridge between you and your child so encouragement of this is strongly valued. Trust and privacy are a critical part of any therapeutic relationship including working with adolescents. This affects how much your child will allow themselves to relax and be open in the session. This type of therapeutic relationship will be discussed in detail in the first session.
I prefer to meet with both partners together. This is the safest and most successful way to work with couples. At times, I will schedule an individual session with both partners’ agreement and with the understanding that it is destructive for me to keep “secrets.” The focus is always on the couple and the relationship. Couples counseling takes work and commitment to change on both parties. Couples who are the most successful schedule sessions consistently for a period of time and continue to come intermittently for a longer period of time. This is optional and is up to each couple to decide their needs. Some couples come in for just three or four sessions to address a specific concern which is a very realistic option.
You can be confident that your care and personal information will be held to the highest standard of privacy allowed by Florida laws and statutes. In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a counselor. No information can be disclosed without prior, written permission from the client. However, there are some exceptions to this rule that are required by law.
- If there is suspected abuse of a child, disabled adult, or elderly person, then it must be reported to the appropriate authorities as required by law.
- If you are threatening to harm someone else, then this must be reported to the appropriate authorities and the intended victim as required by law.
- If you are in danger of hurting yourself, I will make every effort to work with you to ensure your safety. However, if you do not cooperate, then additional measures may need to be taken as required by law to ensure your safety.
- If my records are subpoenaed or court ordered, then they must be turned over to the court as required by law.