A consultation, usually three to four sessions, can serve as a first step in identifying, exploring, and addressing issues that prompted the initial contact with a therapist. For many this is often their first experience with a mental health professional. I see my role as encouraging a person to tell their story, understanding what is said, and understanding the person who says it. A consultation can be used as a springboard for further services or as a focused brief intervention, which can provide sufficient resolution at that moment. Further services that go beyond three or four sessions can be provided by myself, or, if needed, a referral to a trusted colleague will be provided.
People initiate treatment to discuss different aspects of their lives and explore difficulties they may be having in adequately managing or solving the challenges they are encountering. Sessions may be scheduled from one to two times a week, to once every couple of weeks. It is not usually possible at the outset of treatment for me to estimate the number of sessions that will be necessary in order to achieve a person's goals, but a specific number of sessions can be requested depending on the individual's sense of what they need.
In couple's therapy the patient, or client, is the couple. In other words, although composed of two individuals, the couple's dynamics are at the center of the work in treatment. Once these dynamics are better understood, work is geared toward facilitating better communication, fostering greater insight into the patterns that create conflict, and changing problematic dynamics into more productive mutual understanding.