What To Expect
I'm sure that many of you consider this question before scheduling your first appointment. It's important that you feel comfortable with my service. That's why I believe in taking the time to go over some of your concerns and worries.
This is an online therapy service, so, most communication is done by email or through websites, all payments are made online, and all forms or materials are delivered by email or fax. In-person services are not available. So, if you are comfortable being online and using a computer, tablet, or smart phone, we are a good fit!
The first step in the treatment process is completing a screening to see if I can treat your symptoms or concerns. This can be done by completing a short confidential webform online or by phone. If I can treat you, you will be contacted by email or phone to book an appointment.
2) Consent forms
3) Appointment reminders and invitations
Phone appointments: You will receive email and text reminders for your appointment. At the time of your appointment, I will call you.
Phone sessions are better for clients who are not comfortable with computers. However, online video sessions are more comparable to an in-person appointment. It may be worthwhile to give online appointments a try!
Online video appointments: You will receive email and text reminders for your appointment. You will also be emailed an invitation link to attend the appointment. Please follow the instructions on the invitation and test your video and audio. You may be required to download the Zoom app for better video quality. You can attend the appointment using your computer, tablet, or cell phone.
This service is best for people who are comfortable with computers. However, the video app is not difficult to use. There are sometimes issues with slow internet connections that make it hard to log on or freeze the video. If you have technical difficulties, your appointment may be conducted by phone instead.
4) During your first session
We will work together to understand what brought you into therapy, and I will follow-up with questions to better understand your history, concerns, and symptoms. Then you can create some treatment goals. The questions I ask, your answers, and your goals will help me to create a treatment plan that we can work on together during our following sessions. I will take brief notes during sessions, as required for all psychologists, so that I can remember what we talked about. These notes are confidential and can only be seen by me.
5) After your first session
It's hard to predict how many therapy sessions you'll need. I suggest giving three sessions a chance. You can make progress and improve how you feel in as little as five sessions, and benefit more from ten sessions. Most clients find value in therapy and choose to attend more than ten sessions.
It's important that we occasionally review your treatment goals, and you can always provide your feedback during treatment. Open and honest communication is an important part of this process. After each session, there are usually tasks that you will complete to practice new skills and make changes in your life. In fact, the more you practice outside of sessions, the faster and more stable your improvements will be. I will send you therapy-related forms and reading materials by email. Sometimes I may send you questionnaires to complete during or after a session to assess your symptoms. As you become more comfortable in therapy, your fears and worries will fade, and you will feel amazingly comfortable during sessions.
Photo Credits: Banner by Ibrahim Asad (Pexels.com); Ibrahim Asad (Pexels.com)
Dr. Candice Bovell