First sessions are also called intake sessions. Those sessions are the opportunity for therapist and client to get to know each other and discuss reason for counselling and goals. At our clinic they tend to last between 60-75 minutes and aims to cover the initial paperwork, including informed consent and practice policies (such as cancelation and rescheduling). For me it is also the opportunity to get relevant information about who you are and background history. Towards the end of the session we will likely discuss and design a treatment plan together, considering frequency of sessions and primary and secondary targets.
This is the most difficult question for me to answer, as It depends on several things. Therapy can take years or be done in a single session, as people are looking for different things, and have different goals, for counselling. From my experience when individuals seek professional help it usually happens after struggling for a while, and not before trying to solve a problem on their own. So, most of the time therapy tends to last for at least a few months.
So, in order for you to have a better idea about your own process, I encourage you to thing about a few things. What is happening for you at this moment that brought you to therapy? What do you think happened in your past that might be affecting your wellbeing now? What is holding you back?
Regardless of what your answers are, one thing is certain: going to therapy consistently will help. I usually suggest either weekly or biweekly sessions. There will also be situations when you will potentially need more sporadic appointments, such as monthly, towards the end of your treatment. it is also important to keep in mind that most of the change happens between sessions, when you are committed to try different approaches and work with your therapy’s guidance
That can definitely happen. Sometimes the therapist just does not have the expertise to treat your problem. Other times it is a matter of ‘clicking’. Whatever your case is, the best way to approach the situation is to have a honest conversation with your therapist. Keep in mind that the most important thing in counselling is to have a therapeutic relationship established between client and counsellor. So, if you do not feel it is the right fit, if you do not feel safe or willing to trust and share information with your therapist, let them know sooner than later. Chances are they will feel happy to refer you to someone else that can suits your need better and guide you towards your goals.
nfortunately Psychologist fees are not covered by Alberta Health Care. Thankfully several extended health benefit plans will provide either full or partial coverage, through reimbursement. It is recommended that you check with your insurance provider if you have such coverage. It is also important to mention that expenses for psychological services may be claimed on your tax return, under tax deductible health care expenses.
This is also something that you and your therapist will discuss during the intake session. Just keep in mind that the duration of your treatment is highly dependent on the frequency of sessions and severity of the concern.