What to Expect
Psychotherapy is about healing and can be a difficult, emotional process. Throughout therapy, you can expect to be treated with respect, compassion and empathy. You will be invited to share your thoughts about the therapy process, and talk about what works and does not work for you. You can trust that your beliefs, feelings and experiences will be honoured and met with an approach that is, though based in theoretical and practical underpinnings, as unique as you.
We begin our journey together with a review of the risks and benefits of treatment, limits of confidentiality, and the collaborative development of a contract for service. You are invited to ask questions or seek clarification about therapy-related issues, and I will provide you with an overview of my approach to therapy.
Our initial session tends to focus on information-gathering. In addition to traditional clinical interviews, for assessment purposes you may be asked to complete questionnaires and engage in other activities (e.g. writing or drawing) during the first few sessions. These may include genograms, timelines, inventories (e.g. depression, anxiety or trauma measures).
Activities such as genograms, also known as family trees, provide a great deal of information about you, your background and your family of origin in a relatively short amount of time. The questionnaires allow us to get a clear picture of your symptoms (e.g. sleep disturbance, affect dysregulation, difficulty interacting with/trusting others). Questionnaires are also useful at the end of therapy to evaluate progress.