how to choose the right therapist
Things to consider:
- Do you feel like this counselor “gets” you based on his or her individual profile page? Do you get the warm fuzzies about feeling understood by him/her?
- Does the counselor feel competent in working with your area of concern?
- Does the counselor provide sessions on days/times that work for you (whether online or in-office)?
- Are the counselor’s session rates do-able for your budget?
If a therapist at The Joy Effect isn’t the right fit, s/he can refer you to someone else who might be a better match.
how to book an appointment
At The Joy Effect, we always want to schedule a brief phone consultation before you ever have to commit to coming in for an appointment.
The phone call is your chance to really solidify whether or not you feel like this is the right therapist for you.
You can ask any questions you might have that weren’t answered in the FAQ section.
It’s also a chance for your counselor to understand how best to help you reach your goals and help you understand what to expect next.
You can book the phone consultation by visiting the therapist’s “about” page and following the instructions for booking.
how to set up your client portal and sign forms
Once you decide to book an appointment, your therapist will send you a link to set up your client portal and complete the intake forms online.
These forms go over the expectations for therapy such as office policies, how we will work to protect your privacy, the cost for sessions, and what to do if you can’t make it to an appointment.
At The Joy Effect, we’d rather you have time to read over the papers on your own instead of paying for a full session just to sign papers.
what happens at the first therapy session?
The first session is called an “intake” session.
You probaby booked this session while you were on your consultation call with the counselor.
In this session, your counselor will briefly go over the intake forms, highlighting any super important areas s/he wants to make sure you understand.
Then, your counselor will begin taking a history.
That means s/he will find out your story and begin to conceptualize the right goals for your work together.
how do therapy sessions work?
This is where the work happens.
Your therapist will use his or her therapy skills to stay attuned and focused on how best to help you meet your goals.
I know, this sounds super vague, but it’s different for everyone.
During this phase, it’s critical that you be fully open and honest with your therapist, even if you feel like things aren’t going the way you’d hoped.
Your counselor will use a variety of approaches based on what fits your needs and what you agree to.
During this phase, your therapist will be checking for feedback on what’s working, what’s not, and what shifts or changes you’re making to your goals for counseling.
how to know when you’re done with therapy
The therapy timeline is different for everyone.
Once you start to feel better, it is wise to check in with your therapist to see what the next steps are.
Some people just want help getting through a tough situation.
Others want to do deep work to find out how that situation occurred and how to protect themselves from feeling that way again.
Once you’ve started meeting your goals, you and your counselor will work together to decide when it’s time to scale back the frequency of your sessions.
For some people, the end goal of therapy is to move to as-needed.
That means you no longer have regular sessions, but your therapist will be available should you need to return for “refresher” sessions at any point in the future.
For others, staying on with a therapist long-term is a good way to manage persistent symptoms and get consistent support.
Only you and your therapist can decide the best approach for you.