Getting Started with Counseling
You have thought long and hard about starting therapy and now you are finally ready to reach out and schedule an appointment. You brace yourself for the call, you dial the number … you get the voice mail. Now what? What does ‘getting started with counseling’ involve?
It might be helpful to think of your first contact with a therapist in the same way you think of an informational job interview. Think through the questions you want to ask to make sure the therapist is the right fit for you:
- Have you reviewed my website? I work hard on keeping my website and my blog up-to-date and aim to answer your questions proactively to save us both time. What questions do you have, after having reviewed my website?
- Which of my specialties are of interest to you?
- Have you reviewed my fees?
- Are you over 18 years of age (I work with adults only)?
- Are you located in Oregon, Florida, or Vermont, where I am licensed?
- Are you comfortable with teletherapy (this is what I am currently offering)?
- Are you reaching out on behalf of another adult? Please note: this adult needs to contact me directly and be self-motivated to engage in the hard work of therapy.
Then you reach out and schedule this initial appointment. I offer free 20-minute phone consultations when I have openings.
As it turns out, this first contact is very important to your psychotherapist too. Just like you, your counselor needs to be mentally prepared to assess if they can help you, if your needs are in the scope of their practice, if you are having a mental health emergency, and to describe their services to you in an accessible way. They wouldn’t be able to engage in this conversation with you if they are with a client, if the client is waiting in their front lobby, if they are consulting with their colleagues, or doing daily things like driving, exercising, or eating lunch.
As a solo practitioner, I am the only one who answers your call and I only answer scheduled calls. The best ways to reach me are, in the order of my preference:
A. Book a free 20-minute phone consultation:
- If you can’t find one on my calendar, my practice may be fully booked. I open up consultations when I have actual openings ==> you could proceed to option B to inquire about future options.
B. Email me with your request and include the answers to questions 1-7 above – email@example.com.
C. Text me with your request – 503-770-0810.
D. Leave me a voicemail at 503-770-0810 with your phone number that can receive a text message and I will text you back. I am unable to return unscheduled phone calls.
Office Location in Portland, Oregon
During covid-19, I am seeing all clients via ONLINE THERAPY using a secure HIPAA-compliant video platform for people located in Oregon or internationally (please contact me regarding your specific country).
My practice is located in SW Portland near Beaverton (West Slope), in the two-story red brick building called Canyonwood III. My ADA accessible office is on the first floor of the building and there are no stairs. Convenient free parking can be found on the front and sides of the building. Trimet Bus Service 58 stops nearby.