How To Proceed
The services provided start with a conversation.
When you call, your call will be answered by the therapist or voice mail.
If you reach voice mail your call will be returned that day or within 24 hours.
My first question is "How can I help you?"
A frequent response is "I would like to make an appointment".
Or perhaps, "Are you accepting new clients?".
Those questions can be answered fairly quickly; yes and yes.
It is at this point when one of the differences that define the practice begins.
The issue that prompted the phone call may be summarized in a simple sentence.
"My spouse (partner, fiancee, boy/girlfriend) and I are having trouble communicating and we realize that we can use some help."
"My son/daughter is in need of professional help."
"I am struggling and am unsure why."
That is a good starting point. There is much more to be explained.
What is offered during that initial phone call is a chance to speak, to go into more detail.
This opportunity to elaborate provides some immediate relief.
Yes, I am listening. Yes, I am interested in your story. Yes, I am paying attention.
This will become evident quickly because it begins with your information, but then it is followed up with a question I may have.
A conversation has begun.
I will have answered the call by introducing myself; you may have as well.
It is the story of what is happening though, that has my attention.
You will have a chance to explain, to hear my responses.
This will take place before any appointment is made.
One benefit is that a fuller version of the situation is heard and understood.
It saves you time, for this is how a first session would otherwise begin.
It also provides some relief knowing that the process has begun.
What you have had to keep mostly to yourself has now been aired.
An additional benefit is that you get a sense of me and how I work
I have a style that combines directness with empathy.
Without having to make an appointment, wait until that appointment, or pay for the appointment, the process has begun.
You may decide during that initial conversation that what is offered will not fit your needs.
That is true.
What also is true is that I get to know in a more detailed way what your situation entails.
After speaking with you an appointment may be scheduled.
If though, I feel that I would not be the best person to be of help, I will state that.
The opportunity to speak before the appointment introduces us.
It allows us both to determine if the effort makes sense.
I take the work seriously.
I try to ensure that the client's experience is a productive one, even if that experience is one call or one session.
If you happen to reach voicemail you will be called back within twenty-four hours.
You will have privacy, confidentiality, and that most elusive therapeutic ingredient of all, time to talk.