Therapy is a process. It rarely looks the same for two different individuals and does not typically follow the same pattern or duration. That said, the following is a general guideline of what to expect.
Our first meeting
This first meeting is an assessment. This means I will ask many personal questions about you and your life in general. The information I gather during this first meeting helps me to get to know you and have a better understanding about why you have come to therapy and how I might be able to help. This helps me to better understand who you are, where you come from, and what is interfering with your life.
If you choose to return after the first visit, we will begin the process of therapy. During these sessions you will do most of the talking. Depending on the treatment approach, I may guide you through to a better understanding of yourself and how your perceptions of the world influence your thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and relationships. I may give you specific strategies to cope with specific situations or experiences. Much of how these sessions unfold depends on what you bring to therapy and what your goals are. Sometimes I may ask you to complete tasks or develop specific routines outside of the therapy sessions, and sometimes you will be asked to simply reflect on some new information or insight that you have gained.
When to end therapy is a very individual decision, and may happen for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, if you feel you are ready to take on the challenges that brought you to therapy without additional support, it is time to end our work together. Usually, once you feel ready to end therapy, we schedule 1 last meeting to review the progress you have made and trouble shoot any areas of concern. Some clients prefer to slowly ease out of therapy, reducing the frequency of sessions over a period of time before ending completely.