What to Expect in Therapy
We will generally begin with a ‘mood check’. During the first few minutes of our session, I will be asking how your mood has been in the past week and if there have been any changes you want to discuss. After that, we set an agenda. This ensures that whatever you came in wanting to talk about takes priority for us, and will be our focus. However, I encourage clients not to worry about the agenda. If you aren’t sure what is important, I will help carry our work forward from one session to the next. Finally, we work through our agenda. I will attempt to maximize your time spent with me, and advise on ways we can stay focused as we talk. Typical agenda items may include:
- This involves looking at the various ways what you are doing affects how you are feeling and thinking. It may include: prioritizing, time scheduling and management, looking for pleasurable activities or motivating to do more mundane tasks.
- Our thoughts affect the way we feel. We will look at thoughts as hypotheses, not facts; therefore, we will also look for more comfortable ways of thinking. This isn’t positive thinking, which is as erroneous as negative thinking. Instead, this is an effort to become a more fact-based thinker. The first step, of course, is being able to identify your specific thoughts.
- These are global thoughts, namely, ideas that we apply to most situations about ourselves, others, the future and the world that we learn as we grow up. We will look at modifying them in order to create more long-term change.
- Exposure and Responsive Prevention
- If you have trouble with anxiety, we will do exposure and response prevention to reduce the frequency and severity of anxious episodes. We will try to habituate you to the physical sensations of anxiety and to the feared outcome of your thoughts. We will also develop ways to prevent you from responding to anxiety with behaviors that reinforce it. This list often includes checking and reassurance-seeking behaviors.