What is counseling or individual therapy? Bottom line- counseling is about you and for you. Not the therapist, your family or friends. Our practice offers a person-centered approach, in an environment, that encourages personal growth through emphatic listening, non-judgement and a genuine respect for who you are as a person.
Our goal and passion is to work with each person in a collaborative manner by understanding who you are – not your diagnosis (for examples, depression, anxiety, etc.). While diagnosis is helpful for treatment purposes, it is only one factor of many that may be causing you distress. Many other factors including current and previous relationships, your unique temperament or personality, and your experience with previous mental health therapy all influence how you experience satisfaction with your life in the present or “here and now.”
Clients are encouraged to tell their counselor if they have misunderstood something about them or their life since having accurate information is essential to knowing you and assisting in your struggles. We also need to know if something we have said and/or done has upset you since this work is about, and for you. Counselors are imperfect so we would like the opportunity to clarify or work-through what might have upset you. Therapy or counseling is a microcosm (or a small version of everyday life), therefore, the work we do is intended to transfer into your everyday experiences whether it be at work or in your relationships. To be more clear- handing difficult situations between therapist/client will provide you with the tools to effectively handle your day to day interactions/life responsibilities.
What to expect during your first session- Deciding to begin therapy can be both exhilarating and frightening especially if you have never been in therapy before. At Raleigh NC Therapy, we strive to make your experience positive and rewarding. To maximize the amount of time we have together during the first session, we ask you to complete all of the initial paperwork online so that when you come in we can immediately begin the healing process.
When you arrive at our office, you will be greeted with refreshments and snacks to help you settle in. We do not have a receptionist so you will not have to worry about checking in. You will have a seat in the private waiting area and your counselor will come to get you at your appointment time. Please note that while we strive to begin your appointment on time, we may occasionally run 5 minutes or so behind. Expect the appointment to last approximately 60 minutes.
During the initial appointment- Your counselor will explain their approach to therapy, summarize the informed consent paperwork you read and ask if you have any questions. This process should only take about 5-10 minutes. Next, we will have a conversation about what brought you into our office and how I we could be of help. There is a semi-structured process of gathering information about your presenting problems. We will sometimes follow-up with questions based on what you say or stated in your intake form but we believe therapy happens best when the process flows naturally. Bottom line- we do not have an agenda or preconceived ideas about you. Our role is to facilitate the process to help you achieve personal growth and happiness in your life.
When the appointment is finished- We will schedule a follow-up appointment and take care of your payment.
Other assessment options are available if you are not seeking individual therapy or unsure if it is what you need- We offer a comprehensive assessment/treatment plan for individuals considering a higher level of care such as inpatient mental health and/or substance abuse treatment. This can be for the individual requesting my services or for a family who believes a loved one might require this type of care. A big part of the initial assessment is to determine what your unique needs are- not to “sign you up” for years of therapy. Not everyone who contacts us needs/wants formal therapy. Sometimes after the initial phone consultation or first session it is jointly decided that individual therapy is not the best treatment approach for your needs. For example, you might benefit more from a support group, medication evaluation, etc. Therefore, we will provide you with resources and recommendations for these alternatives even in you decide therapy is not needed.