New Clients - Forms
Please read and complete the JCS Policy Forms prior to your first appointment.
Why would I want to see a therapist? Can't I just talk to a friend?
Support from friends is important, but there are several key differences between therapists and friends.
- is dedicated to the well-being of you and/or your family, with no conflicting interests or judgments
- is able to give observations and challenge you in a way people in your daily life cannot
- holds what you say as confidential and doesn't pass it on to others
- can hear what you're really thinking with no agenda or hurt feelings
- is a trained professional who helps people with concerns like yours every day
Don't people who see therapists have serious problems? There's nothing wrong with me - I'm just not happy with parts of my life right now.
That's an outdated view. The profession has evolved to be much more growth- and wellness-focused, similar to how healthcare used to focus on disease and has shifted to preventative care and health rather than just the absence of disease.
Every person, family and relationship has things to work on to function better - a therapist could be a good resource.
What if I don't know what I want from therapy?
Many people start the process without clear goals - I can help you figure that out. Defining what we're working toward will help you get the most out of your therapy experience.
What does therapy look like?
In our first appointment we'll talk about your situation and how I might help. Our conversation will involve what's going on now, and if it's helpful we'll explore how things got to be this way. I may ask about your background and history to get a better idea of how you see the world and relate to your circumstances. All of this serves the purpose of increasing awareness about how you think and act in your daily life in order to move toward your goals.
What can I expect from therapy?
Therapy is what you make of it. I provide a safe, open space for you to process experiences, realize some new things about yourself, and relate differently. Throughout the process you can expect to be listened to, supported, and challenged in an honest (and kind) way. Working with a therapist doesn't necessarily make the circumstances of your life better - but it better equips you to deal with what comes your way.
Is therapy confidential?
What you share with your therapist - even that you're a client - is confidential and is not shared with anyone without your consent. However, there are some exceptions as required by law:
- In the case of suspected abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult, I am required to report to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, I am required to notify the police and the intended victim.
- If a client expresses an intention to harm him- or herself, I must make every effort to work with the client to ensure safety. If the client does not cooperate, or if there is a strong doubt about safety, I will take action to ensure the safety of the client.
When, and how often, does therapy take place?
We will meet in my office at a time that works for both of us. Sessions are usually one therapy hour (50 minutes), or sometimes a bit longer.
Depending on a client's needs, circumstances and desired pace for change, I may see clients weekly, multiple times per week, or every few weeks - we can decide together how that works. Your goals will help inform when you're “done” - or you may choose to work on another issue. It's up to you. And you're always welcome to come back for tune-up sessions as needed.