How Therapy Works

Counseling Process

Okay, so maybe you’ve decided you’re interested in starting counseling with me. Now what?

The first step is to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with me. During the call, we’ll talk about your concerns, how I can help, what you hope to get out of counseling, and any barriers you may have to beginning therapy.

If we decide together that counseling with me is a good fit, you’ll receive an email asking you to register in the client portal. Once you’re logged into the client portal, you can read over and sign forms that explain my office procedures and privacy policies.

You will also be asked to fill out a questionnaire that will provide useful information on your background. This will allow us to focus your first session on your deepest concerns.


The First Session

When you come for your first session, we’ll first review office policies, including those for payment and cancellations. We’ll then dive into questions about many areas of your life including relationships, family, jobs, and spirituality.

This first session is not a normal therapy session. Instead this is a session to focus on getting to know you and your background, so I have a deeper understanding of what is happening for you in the present.

We will also focus on what you hope to accomplish through therapy and set some specific goals so we can get you there.

Lastly, if you are feeling suicidal or like you may self-harm, we’ll create a safety plan together. Having a plan you can look out when you start to feel out of control can be helpful. This makes it so when your brain is already overloaded with emotions, you don’t have to think as hard about what to do. You’ll already know.


Counseling Sessions

Describing what counseling will be like after your first session is difficult because therapy is tailored to each client, what they work well with, and what they need from therapy. However, through the counseling process, you will gain a better understanding of your thoughts and feelings. You’ll practice new coping skills and find out what works best for you. Your pain will ease as you continue to work through therapy.

You should be warned, counseling is not always pleasant. We’re talking about some deep hurtful stuff here. It’s one of those things where the way to get past the pain…is to move THROUGH it. When you’re in therapy it’s much harder to hide from your feelings because you have someone pointing them out to you.

This can be tough. In fact, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. That’s why we make sure we have a safety plan in place for between sessions. Just remember, with time, it DOES get better.


Ending Therapy

So, when does therapy end? I mean, counseling is not meant to go on forever. This is a time to teach you new skills in processing your emotions so that you are able to continue on your own with a new-found strength. It’s better to teach a man to fish than to give a man a fish, right?

So back to the question, how do you know when you’re done? This is why from the very first session we’re talking about what you want to get out of therapy. From the beginning we’re setting specific, realistic goals together.

Every 4-6 weeks, we’ll check back in with those goals. Are we making progress? If we’re not, what needs to change? If we are, what’s working for you?

We’ll decide together when you’re nearing the end of counseling. We want to make sure you feel ready to tackle any problems that may come in the future. Also, we want to make sure you’ve resolved the struggles that brought you into therapy in the first place.

This means by the time counseling has ended you should no longer have suicidal thoughts or any wish to self-harm. In fact, you should no longer feel symptoms of depression or anxiety at all, more than an average person will have from time to time.

As you can tell from this description, it’s impossible for me to give an exact amount of time for how long therapy will last. Every person has different goals and every person makes change at a different pace.

This means some clients will truly make change within a couple of months and others may need over a year. Many will fall somewhere in between those extremes.

Regardless of the amount of time it takes to finish therapy, I want you to feel confident when you walk out those doors for the final time.


Value of Counseling

Okay, so before you invest all this time, energy, and money, you want to know if it’s worth it, right? The value of therapy is also different for every person.

Take a minute and imagine with me. What is plaguing you the most right now? What has driven you to find this page and explore how counseling might help you? Picture a typical day of your life. As you go throughout your day, how much does this struggle weigh you down? How much does it affect every decision, every emotion, and every thought?

Now picture you’ve woken up one morning and that problem is gone. What’s your day like now? You feel lighter without that burden. Happier. No more thoughts of suicide.

Now how much is that change worth? Are you willing to do the work and put in the time it will take to make that change happen?


Cost of Counseling

Therapy costs more than money if you want it to really work. Therapy will take your time. I work with people weekly for a full 60 minute session. While seeing a therapist every other week may seem more convenient, I have found time and again that clients seen every week make progress faster.

For example, a client seen for 6 consecutive weeks tends to make more progress than a client seen every other week for 12 weeks. This means both clients have had the same number of hours in counseling, but in my experience, the one seen weekly gets more use out of those hours.

Counseling also takes dedication. To get the most out of your session, you need to be open and honest, not just with me but with yourself. You also need to commit to being open to change. The more you can do these two things, the more effective therapy will be. This means less time is needed in counseling.

Lastly, therapy does cost money, though I’m sure this part isn’t a surprise. The price for the first session is $150 and lasts 90 minutes. After this, each session is $120 for a 60 minute session.


Book Your Consultation

Counseling can help you find hope again. You don’t have to walk this dark path alone. If you’re ready to find your happiness again, find out more through our Services pages. Or, if you’re ready now, schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation to see if therapy through Blue Skies Counseling LLC is right for you.


Send a Message