improving life, KNOWLEDGE  & uNDERSTANDING

                        THROUGH MENTAL HEALTH


The first session is where you and I get to know each other and figure out if we will be a good fit to work with each other.  You will be able to tell me about you, your history, why you are coming to therapy and ask any questions you may have. 

During the first session to help with getting to know each other, you will complete the initial questionnaire and consent for treatment.  It will take about 5-10 minutes to complete those forms.  I will review the paperwork, limits of confidentiality and consent for treatment with you, as well as answer any questions you have.

The first session is special, because it is primarily for information gathering.  I will ask you to tell your story and to describe your background.  We will discuss the reasons you are seeking therapy, what the current problem is and when it started,  any history of patterns, and if appropriate your developmental history (a little bit about your childhood and your family history). 

This session is important because I need to find out a lot about your history in a short amount of time in order to properly evaluate your concerns and arrive at a possible diagnosis.  A diagnosis helps guide treatment and is an important part of the process.  You are the expert on you and what you tell me is dependent on the route we take in treatment.  I am not here to judge you, I am here to help you.  

At the end of session, I will check in with you to see how your experience was in session. 

Coming to therapy is a chance to explore new ways of being, of thinking and of feeling.  After leaving my office, you may be flooded with many emotions both positive and negative.  This is normal.  Psychotherapy is a unique experience that is powerful but can also be scary and intimidating at times.  Most people who try psychotherapy end up liking it and appreciating their time with their therapist. 

After we've met and I've had time to reflect on the first session, I will come up with a tentative diagnosis.  A diagnosis may change over the course of treatment.  A diagnosis along with client input helps guide treatment and assists in setting a realistic treatment plan, including whether a referral is needed to an additional service provider such as a doctor or psychiatrist, especially if a determination is needed to see if medications may be helpful in your treatment process.   


If you'd like, please write out what you hope to achieve or accomplish as a result of seeking therapy.
Some sessions you will be given “homework” to think about or complete during sessions; carry it out. If there is something about the assignment that you don’t like or which does not make sense to you, say so before leaving the office with the assignment. Reaching a common understanding regarding an assignment is essential.
Give me feedback. Tell me when I suggest something that is helpful, but also inform me when anything slows or stops your growth or progress.

To make, change, or cancel appointments, please call me at (424) 215-6285.

Content copyright 2020. Deana Straus. All rights reserved.