At your first counseling session, or intake session, you will be asked to fill out a client packet. You should arrive 15 minutes early to this appointment. A photo id is needed. This is true even if the client is your minor child. In your client packet is an informed consent. This document explains in detail your right to confidentiality and under what circumstances confidentiality can not be guaranteed. Payment for your session is due at the time of service and this fee will be collected upon your arrival.
(Often clients discuss things of a very personal nature and collection of fees at the beginning of the session prevents a client from having to speak to anyone on their way out unless they wish to do so.)
At your first session I will ask you to tell me about yourself so I can begin to get to know you. Although fleshing out your thoughts and feelings with a stranger can have great benefits, this task is seldom approached without nervousness and apprehension. As the client, you will set the pace for when and how we discuss the reason for your visit. It is very important for you to feel comfortable with your counselor. Each counselor has their own belief system and works in different ways and if I am unable to assist you, I will provide you with referrals to colleagues who might. You should never remain in a therapy process that doesn't feel right for you, no matter how highly acclaimed and recommended the therapist may be by others. Trust your gut reactions, especially negative ones.
Only you can make the decision to return for a second session. You are the best expert on yourself. If you feel like the two of us are a good fit after our first session, a treatment plan will be discussed and future appointments can be scheduled if you wish.