Our First Meeting
Our first meeting lasts about 60 minutes and is an open dialogue in which we explore the nature and background of what brings you into therapy. We will look at the bigger picture of your life and why it might not be working as well as it could and what would help. Together we will develop goals and an approach that matches your needs.
Feeling a match with your therapist is a central factor in therapy’s effectiveness. It is important that you feel I get you and understand what brings you in and what you are looking for going forward. Sometimes that first meeting can be the hardest one as you are finally talking about things that you likely don’t talk about and that are painful or difficult to delve into. It can take courage to open up, but most people do feel a sense of relief after that initial meeting. You may even feel proud of yourself for taking a new step forward and for no longer accepting the status quo or cap on your life satisfaction. Also feeling like another person understands you helps many to feel hopeful and that their psychological wellbeing, relationship satisfaction, professional goals, or sense of meaning can and will grow.
It is of the utmost importance to me that you feel safe sharing your thoughts, feelings, symptoms and experiences. Not only is it my professional responsibility, as I am ethically and legally bound, to maintain your confidentiality, but it is also an essential ingredient for therapy to work. Coming to my office or meeting remotely is separate from and not connected to the rest of your life, your profession, your school, or your relationships. Having a protected space allows people to feel safe opening up and without having to worry about consequences to their personal relationships. I take this professional privilege and duty very seriously.
Everything you share is strictly private and only between you and me. I am the only person who maintains your clinical record, answers my voicemail and responds to email. Should you want something to be shared with another professional, institution, or person in your life, I will ask you to provide written consent and specification of what it is you want communicated.
There are exceptions to confidentiality including a court order or subpoena that I am unable to quash (eliminate), or in the case of immediate danger to you or to others, or in the case of child or elder abuse/neglect, which legally psychologists and other mental health professionals are required to report.