Session Length: 50 minutes
(by appointment only –– no drop-ins)
Location: Downtown or Northwest Austin
Scheduling & Availability: I have specific hours available at each location for ongoing, weekly, individual therapy. Contact me with preferred days and times, and I will get back to you ASAP with my current availability. For those who may have difficulty scheduling in-person sessions, online therapy is now available. CLICK HERE to read more.
Timeframe: Individual therapy is not time-limited and usually ends when a client feels they have made significant progress toward their self-defined goals. When I schedule your initial session, I reserve your weekly appointment time indefinitely. At the end of each session, we will confirm your next appointment.
Description: Individual therapy is a time for you to explore the concerns that are most important to you in partnership with an objective, empathic, and experienced therapist. In therapy, I will listen to your story, provide emotional support, help you develop goals, identify your strengths, and illuminate meaningful connections between your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Each week, we will work together to develop insight about your concerns and identify the next steps on your path to greater well-being.
Who may benefit: Individual therapy can benefit people experiencing a wide array of challenges, including mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem; grief and loss; concerns about about relationships; stressful life transitions related to career, school, or family; and distressing or unexpected events. Individual therapy is also appropriate for individuals seeking to develop self-awareness, find meaning in life, and enhance skills for coping with and enjoying life more fully.
Ready to start? CLICK HERE. If you want to know more, continue reading.
In Individual Therapy, you could:
What to Expect
The Beginning of the Beginning
Though people often seek individual therapy to find relief from anxiety, starting therapy can also be a source of anxiety. Learning what to expect in individual therapy can help to lessen this anxiety. When you first arrive, you will take a seat in the waiting room. If you haven’t completed new client paperwork (read more about this in the following section), there will be a clipboard in the waiting room with my name on it, a pen, instructions, and the required forms. At your appointment time, I will come to the waiting room and call your first name. I try to follow a client’s lead when it comes to shaking hands or similar gestures, because comfort with such gestures can vary widely from person to person. On the brief trip to the therapy room, we may walk quietly or exchange social niceties: It’s good to see you. How about that Texas weather? How are you? I’m fine, and you? Though not insincere, it may feel odd to have this superficial interaction, knowing we may soon be discussing things that feel anything but fine. This is a normal experience when transitioning from our usual daily interactions into the unique therapeutic relationship that we will have for 50 minutes each week.
When we arrive in the therapy room, I will briefly review your completed forms and ask if you have any questions about them, especially related to confidentiality. If your forms are incomplete, I can assist you with completing them. After discussing any questions or concerns you may have, it is time to move past formalities and into a discussion of your reasons for coming to therapy. As I listen, I will ask questions to gain clarity about your story; draw connections between thoughts, feelings, and actions that you describe; and call attention specific strengths and resources that may be assets in our work together.
At some point, I will pause the conversation to share my understanding of your concerns; invite you to make corrections, clarifications, or additions to improve my understanding; and ask what you hope to accomplish through our work together. This could be something very specific, like “I want to stop having panic attacks.” It could also be something less specific that we can clarify together over time, like “I want to improve my relationships.” These goals may change as our work progresses. Often, individual therapy is a place where one can develop vague ideas of happiness into more concrete ideas about what personal fulfillment and well-being look like. Either way, defining goals early on will help to keep us on track as we continue our work together.
As we delve more deeply into the details of your primary concerns, I will continue to ask clarifying questions and share my understanding of your story. When I share my understanding of your statements or experiences, my goal is not to impart some great piece of wisdom. Instead, I hope to reflect your experience back to you, revealing a different, external perspective that was previously elusive or invisible. Another broad goal of this discussion is to promote awareness of and balance in one’s attention to thoughts, feelings, and actions. Thoughts, feelings, and actions are thoroughly interdependent, but most people focus on one of these areas at the expense of the others. Throughout our discussion, I may ask questions or make observations about what is not being said about one of these areas. At times, I will also offer brief information about mental health topics that may be relevant to the experiences you share.
Near the end of a session, it is often useful to summarize what has been discussed, make note of important topics to revisit, and identify ways to begin applying insight gained in therapy to life outside of therapy. I call this homework (I should really think of a more pleasant term). Early in therapy, homework is usually a very small, informal task, such as noticing when you experience certain thoughts or emotions, saying something kind to yourself, scheduling some time for relaxation, or completing a short worksheet that clarifies your thoughts, feelings, actions, values, or needs. In future sessions, as your self-awareness, skills, and confidence grow, and these smaller tasks become a more habitual part of your daily life, we will devise ways of applying your insights more broadly, and in ways that move you ever closer to your self-defined goals. It is hoped that, over time, you will be taking steps outside of therapy that seemed daunting, if not impossible, at our first meeting.
The Beginning of the End
When you have achieved or made significant progress toward your self-defined goals, we may begin to discuss the possibility of ending our work together. It is not always obvious when this point has been reached in therapy. Often, something just feels different about recent sessions. A client may begin to feel bored. The sense of desperation a client felt when they scheduled their first session may eventually vanish into thin air. Sometimes, motivation dwindles, even when there is plenty of work left to do. The client and therapist may identify an important new goal to begin work on. Alternatively, the client and therapist may identify a smaller non-problem to address, silently hoping to delay the end of the therapeutic relationship. Regardless of how it happens, when things start to feel different, it is important to discuss these feelings openly.
Though individual therapy can be thoroughly rewarding, it also takes a substantial investment of time, money, and effort. Though it can be tempting to free up resources by ending therapy abruptly, the client and therapist should develop a specific plan for either continuing or ending therapy, including discussion of reasons for ending therapy, ways of coping with difficulties after therapy ends, and plans for obtaining needed support. This includes the possibility of resuming therapy later, if needed. It can also be tempting to continue therapy indefinitely. However, this interferes with another broad goal of therapy: to instill clients with the ability to cope with life’s difficulties by developing and utilizing their own self-awareness, skills, knowledge, strengths, resources, and resiliency. Open discussion of current goals, and thoughts and feelings related to therapy in general, is important to avoid ending therapy to soon or continuing therapy to the detriment of personal growth. Changing life circumstances can also bring an unexpected end to therapy. Changing schedules or financial resources, unexpected relocation, or other external factors may make the continuation of weekly therapy difficult or impossible. In such cases, we can work together to develop a plan for continuing growth and obtaining needed support under new or changing circumstances.
How to start
If you are interested in scheduling your first individual therapy appointment, call/text me at 512-806-0137 or fill out the form below. I will contact you as soon as possible to answer questions you may have and find an appointment time that works for you. Once we choose an appointment time, I will ask you for more detailed contact information and preferences, confirm your appointment, and send you new client paperwork. You can print this paperwork (usually provided via email) and complete it prior to your first session, or arrive 15 minutes early to complete it in the waiting room. If you have more than a few brief questions about individual therapy, we can schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation for a more in-depth discussion of your concerns.
I sincerely look forward to our work together.
Information Request: Individual Therapy