I’ve never been to therapy. What can I expect from the first session?

Prior to your appointment, I will request for you to complete a brief intake packet with questions related to your interest in seeking therapy and what your goals are for treatment. We will review this information in detail during our first appointment so I can get a clear idea of how to structure our work together. We will also discuss your family history and relationships, as well as any major events that have occurred to you over the years. The first appointment is more of an “information-gathering” appointment and will feel somewhat different than how the actual process of therapy feels. Because we are trying to obtain so much information in this first visit, the initial appointment lasts 60-75 minutes, whereas typical appointments are around 55 minutes.

How long do people usually go to therapy for?

The length of treatment varies per person. For some who are seeking assistance with one specific concern (such as a phobia or a work-related injury), therapy may last 8-12 weeks. For others, therapy may be a longer term process and take place over the course of several years. Couples who go to therapy can expect regular attendance (1x per week) for a few months until they begin to notice sustainable change. Then, they may return in a year or two for a “tune up” or if a new concern arises.

Can you prescribe medication?

Master’s level therapists cannot prescribe medications. Only providers who have completed medical schooling and have obtained a medical license can prescribe pharmaceutical medications.

Can you perform testing?

Master’s level therapists can complete diagnostic assessments and basic testing for mental health conditions. They cannot complete extended neuropsychological or cognitive testing and will typically refer to a Psychologist with a PhD if recommended for a client.

What is the difference between a counselor and a therapist?

In the mental health world, the terms counseling and therapy are often used interchangeably and the education for each license is very similar. Counseling is somewhat of a broader term and people who attend school for counseling may end up working in schools, in career counseling, in clinics, or in private practice. However, therapists are typically trained specifically for psychotherapy and may have a specialization such as in marriage & family therapy that they gain during their schooling. However, many counselors/therapists end up identifying their own specific area of interest and go on to obtain extended training or certification in a particular modality, such as art therapy, EMDR, or play therapy. The modality and individual personality of a counselor/therapist is often a more noticeable difference than what type of license they hold.

How do I get the most out of my therapy sessions?

Therapy is a collaborative process and requires honest, open communication and good rapport in order to be truly effective. I value feedback and feel it is important for you to tell me both what works and what doesn’t work for you. Therapy may also encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone or may assign homework (brief activities to practice) at home between sessions. It is important for you to try new things and take an active role in your therapy if you want to see true and lasting results. Attending appointments regularly and being on time will also help in getting the most out of your therapy.


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410 S. Orchard Street Suite 128
Boise, ID 83705

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