The Therapy Process: How it Works
Therapy Process
Orientation Appointment: 

Your first visit to the office includes your complimentary Orientation Appointment, designed to introduce you to the office staff, meet with the office manager and become familiar with office procedures. This get -acquainted meeting usually lasts about an hour, and is offered to you at no charge. 

During this hour, our office manager will give you a brief overview of our professional services that are available to you as a client in our practice. She will also provide you with a private office in which you may complete preliminary documents that establish you as a client. The office manager will give you a packet of information which helps you understand the nature of services we provide, the manner in which appointments are made and the fees for professional services. 

She will also ask you to complete a Confidential Questionnaire that helps you state clearly your concerns and your particular reasons for seeking therapy services. In addition, she will provide you with your own copy of HIPAA, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and answer any questions you may have regarding your rights as a patient. During this orientation visit you are encouraged to ask the office manager any procedural questions you might have. She will be happy to answer them for you. 

Initial Consultation Appointment: 

Your first session with a therapist will consist of obtaining detailed information about the situation which brings you to seek therapy. This session is designed to help the therapist get a clear picture of the circumstances surrounding the situation or problems from which you seek relief. This session lasts sixty minutes and is charged at our standard professional rate for an initial professional consultation, $235. 


As you begin to gain in personal perspective, you may start to develop new attitudes which will then lead to behavioral changes. Often it is possible to view the current symptoms or problems as merely ineffective or dysfunctional coping mechanisms rather than random consequences. Once understood as such, it is possible to find more constructive alternatives. When helpful, you may be given homework assignments to work on between appointments and your therapist may recommend reading material or audio and video tapes. 

Throughout this process, we welcome your feedback in our work together. The therapists in this practice view the therapeutic process as a collaboration in which your progress and reaction to all aspects of your therapy are extremely important to us. Your feedback, whether positive or negative, will help us do our jobs better.

Duration of Therapy: 

The length of treatment is widely variable, ranging from just a few weeks to a year or more depending on many factors. Your therapist will be happy to discuss with you your progress and how near you are to your therapy goals as you progress through treatment. Ideally, completion of therapy is determined mutually, with both you and your therapist participating together in the decisions which lead you to a successful conclusion.

Resistance to Change: 

Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will need to work on things we talk about both during our sessions beyond the therapy appointment itself. Therapy involves a commitment of resources including time, money, and energy. If you have questions about therapy or consulting procedures, they are always welcome. Your therapist invites an open discussion with you of any issues you may have on your mind, whenever they arise. No discussion of therapy would be complete without mentioning the concept of "resistance." Just as there might be a tendency to avoid or procrastinate in one's preparation of an academic lesson, there are often strong feelings of resistance towards emotional issues. This is a very normal and necessary dynamic which is actually a healthy defense mechanism, sometimes called the approach/avoidance curve. As we approach our goals, often we experience rapid progress at first, and then, as we draw nearer to those goals, we may pull back and find any number of excuses not to proceed. As you learn new truths about yourself and others, it will be natural for you to let go of certain old ideas and beliefs in order to replace them with more realistic and healthy ones. It is as natural for us to find ourselves procrastinating about this task of letting go and moving forward as it would be to postpone a household chore such as taking out the trash or a more fearsome undertaking such as preparing for a presentation or an important exam.

The Approach/Avoidance Dynamic: 

The approach/avoidance dynamic is very interesting.  It may take the form of your missing appointments, finding excuses to postpone appointments, finding financial reasons that therapy is no longer feasible or arriving at any of a number of reasons to interrupt your therapy. Avoidance may be so strong that you may actually develop physiological symptoms such as headache, stomach upset or flu which interfere with your keeping your appointments. These reasons may seem perfectly valid on the surface and the ailments may be "real," but the unconscious motive of avoidance may be involved. 

Your therapist will help you spot these occasions of approach/avoidance, help you see them for what they really are, a normal part of your progress, a natural tendency and defense mechanism, and help you deal with your feelings of resistance to aspects of personal growth in a manner which is productive and empowering for you. Your therapist is trained to help you identify self-defeating behaviors such as avoidance. 

If you welcome expert assistance with these "bumps in the road" you will feel much more comfortable and more in charge of your feelings throughout the process. In fact, much of the benefit of therapy has to do with your learning about your own resistance to change and becoming more aware of when your responses become self-defeating or dysfunctional. Once identified for what they are, old maladaptive behaviors may be traded in for behaviors which promote greater self-esteem, effectiveness and ultimately, greater fulfillment with living. 


The relationship between you and your therapist is strictly confidential, and all aspects of your experience in this office are considered privileged. Our therapists and staff will treat your privacy and anonymity with the utmost respect. Only with your duly authorized written consent would any information about you be released to any other individual other than you, and then, only with your explicit direction and instruction. Your therapist will discuss any limits to confidentiality with you during a professional consultation session
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