What does the first session of therapy entail?
The first session is typically about 75-90 minutes. The session will be spent gathering information about why you decided to come to therapy. You’ll be asked questions about what is going on with you currently and questions about your past so that I can get a good idea about who you are and what you want out of therapy.
How long does therapy last?
Therapy sessions are usually 50-55 minutes but there’s no hard and fast answer to how many sessions it will take to meet your goals. So much depends on what brings you to therapy and what you want to work on. Many of the treatments I use are briefer therapies and are somewhere around 16 sessions or so. Still, for some, 6-8 sessions is all they need to make the changes they desired. Others view therapy as a continual opportunity to grow in a number of areas and prefer to engage in longer-term treatment. You get to decide when you have achieved what you want.
How frequently will we meet?
A lot of that depends on what you want. Some people prefer to meet weekly, while others want to meet every other week or once monthly. When going through a crisis or particularly difficult or stressful time, some people want to meet as much as twice weekly. We’ll collaborate about the frequency of treatment to decide what will work best for you.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, is a treatment that is founded on the notion that our thoughts cause our emotions, not external factors, such as people, situations, and/or events. For instance, if a friend is running late to meet you at a movie and you tell yourself, “He is so inconsiderate,” it would make sense that you feel angry and upset. However, if you tell yourself, “I bet he’s stuck in traffic on 465,” you likely feel more understanding. Both of these beliefs may be accurate but they have different emotional outcomes, even though the situation and people involved are the same. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on identifying and changing beliefs and behaviors that have a negative impact. We’ve found that when we can change the way we think, we can feel better even if the situation stays the same.