What to Expect
We haven’t met yet, but I want to say that I’m so proud of you for taking the steps of seeking a therapist, even if it does not end up being someone on the Lotus Life staff. Although there has been a great deal of progress in society’s view of therapy, there remains to be stigmas attached to seeking help from a mental health professional. I’ll ask you what I’ve asked many people who are on the fence about going to therapy: when someone has a physical ailment, do we judge them for getting it treated? No! It only makes sense that if you have an illness or health issue, you should go to a doctor or a specialist to have it treated. That doesn’t and shouldn’t stop at your physical health. Your mental and physical health work hand-in-hand!
All clinicians have their own style of therapy and include different techniques and approaches, so even if you have been to therapy before, it may differ from the therapy you will be engaging in with us in some ways. We generally meet with clients once a week for 60 minutes. Some clients prefer to be seen twice a week or more, especially at the beginning of treatment as they tell their story.
When working with our clients at Lotus Life, we use a relational, person-centered approach. We use culturally relevant examples and connections. We will sometimes draw from our own experiences and those of folks in our communities when clinically appropriate. We take direct approaches that are authentic to who we are both personally and clinically.
Our first few meetings will differ from later sessions in that we will be focusing on getting to know one another so that we can begin to decide on what the best to way to proceed with treatment will be. We will ask you:
- What is bringing you into treatment at this time?
- Have you been to therapy before? What was that like?
- What are the symptoms you’ve been experiencing?
- Questions about your history, including interpersonal relationships (family, friends, romantic, etc.), and childhood.
Within the first few visits, we will collectively establish goals for treatment and discuss the best plan to begin to accomplish those goals. As the treatment continues, we will assess your progress on those goals and establish new ones.
I know that it can be very intense to reach deep and express your feelings, especially with someone who will, at first, be a stranger to you. Be assured that your clinician will ease you into the work. It is important to us that you feel comfortable and safe throughout this process. We believe that your giving us access to your thoughts, fears, goals and aspirations is a privilege and we do not take it lightly.
With time you will find that you are having an easier time coping with your issues as you gain skills over time. At this point, you may want to reduce your sessions from once a week to every other week, and eventually to occasional check ins. Our goal is for you to learn life-long skills that you can use to help yourself through any issue you may face, without our guidance.
If you have any questions or concerns about the therapeutic process, feel free to reach out to us!