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What can I expect during my first and subsequent appointments?

Preparation for your appointment

Prior to your first appointment:

Typically, our initial contact will take place on the telephone where I will gather some preliminary information (i.e., your name, e-mail address, and phone number) in order to open an electronic file.  Equipped with that information, I will then be able to send you a few documents electronically, which will save time during your first visit; these documents include an informed consent form, my practice policy guidelines, and a questionnaire.  



All files, whether electronic or in paper form are maintained in a secure, locked filing cabinet in my office (paper) and on a secure encrypted server (digital).  Your personal information always remains confidential.  The only two conditions under which I am obliged both ethically and legally to breach confidentiality are: if you pose an imminent threat to your own safety or to someone else's.


The first appointment:

The first visit generally lasts 90 minutes, and it is where I conduct a thorough assessment (i.e., family background, medical history, etc.).  The assessment may require an additional session before fully concluded, after which we will work collaboratively to determine treatment goals and a plan to achieve those goals.


Subsequent appointments:

Though I am an electic practitioner, meaning that I employ various psychotherapeutic techniques in helping my clients, my theoretical orientation is fundamentally humanisitic and constructivist.  This means that I work in a very democratic fashion (if I'm allowed to ask questions of you, you're certainly allowed to ask questions too!), favoring therapeutic transparency and authenticity, and creating a safe space where you feel comfortable taking a risk in sharing intimate details of your life.

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