First sessions last 50 minutes, so you should plan on being here that long.
At your first visit, enter and come up the stairs to the waiting room. I will greet you there at our appointment time, and walk you to my office. Once settled, you can start by telling me what is bringing you to see me, and how you are hoping that I can help you. I will ask lots of questions so that I am sure I understand your situation. This may also help you to understand yourself better as well. I will also ask about your background and history, including your family and childhood. We will discuss and agree on an exploratory process of getting to know one another, so that you can decide if you'd like to work with me, and for me to assess how I can best help you.
I may ask your permission to talk to your other doctors, therapists, and/or teachers (in the case of children) so that I can be sure to have all the information available in order to determine the best way to work with you. There are release forms that I would ask you to sign attesting to your agreement that it is okay for me to share information with these people. If there is any information that you would prefer that I not share, please let me know so that we can discuss this.
Therapy is a process of talking out issues. Most often, you will talk about whatever you want to discuss. The main direction that I will give you is to feel free to say whatever comes to mind, and to try not to censor it. Just say what you are thinking or feeling. If you are uncomfortable at any time in the sessions, please let me know so that we can understand what it is that is causing you discomfort. This could be connected to the very issues for which you are seeking help.
Generally, we will talk about current concerns, your history, and also how you are feeling within the sessions. By making connections between these three areas, you will start to understand yourself better, and to be better able to deal with your problems productively.
Usually, my sessions last 50 minutes, but occasionally we will find that more or less time is better for you. We will talk about that if one of us feels we need to change the length of sessions.