What to Expect

Asking for help can seem overwhelming, and making that first appointment can be difficult. While therapy may seem a bit scary and anxiety-producing, rest assured that those feelings are a normal and an important — part of the self-discovery process.

What comes next? This section outlines the therapeutic process and will help you make the most of our time together.

First, congratulate yourself on making the decision to start psychotherapy. Schedule your first appointment by:

  • Calling (773) 799-8966 to speak with our receptionist and schedule a consultation.
  • E-mailing Info@AstuteCounseling.com for more information regarding services.
  • In advance of our first session, I ask that you come prepared to answer such questions as: What leads you to seek therapy at this point in time?
  • What symptoms are you currently experiencing?
  • How are they affecting your daily life? Your work? Your relationships?
  • What have you done to try to feel better?
  • What do you hope to accomplish with therapy? What are your goals and your expectations?

Before we meet for the first time, please also:

  • Review our payment and insurance information.
  • Complete and submit all required forms. If you have any questions or are unable to complete the forms in advance, please contact me to arrange for an earlier appointment time.
  • Copy any related medical paperwork, such as a list of all medications currently being taken and information on past mental health treatment.

Our first session together will primarily be an information-gathering opportunity lasting 60-75 minutes. During this session, we will:

  • Review your completed intake forms, confidentiality practices and associated paperwork.
  • Discuss your history, concerns and symptoms. This involves talking about the current problem and when/where it started.
  • Understand your expectations of therapy and what you hope to achieve.
  • Discuss my treatment practices and philosophy and how they can help you achieve your goals.
  • Discuss strategies for future sessions, including homework and goal-setting.

At this time, I may arrive at a tentative diagnosis; however, please understand that diagnoses may change over the course of therapy.

Subsequent appointments last 50 minutes, and we will use our time to focus on goals, treatment planning and therapeutic techniques to manage symptoms.

As we continue the therapeutic process, I ask that you:

  • Keep your regularly scheduled appointments to ensure consistency. If you need to cancel an appointment, I require a minimum of 24 hours notice.
  •  Ask questions during the process.
  • Be honest with me about how you are feeling.
  • Complete any homework that I assign you.

There is no predetermined length of therapy. Each client is different; therefore, each therapeutic relationship is, too. The length of time we work together is client-driven and will depend on factors like diagnoses, cost, commitment and involvement.

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