Initial Phone Consultation
Whether you are struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, or other difficulties, the decision to deal with them in therapy can be challenging for many people. The initial phone consult is free and meant to help you decide if you want to work together. During this 15-minute call I will ask you to tell me about the difficulties you want to resolve to ensure they are something we can deal with together and I will describe how I work. Please feel free to ask any questions about my practice or me to help you decide if you want to work together.
Trial Therapy Session
The first therapy session is usually between 1 1/2 to 2 hours long and requires our best efforts to closely examine your difficulties so we can determine what drives them and how you can resolve them. This process also functions to jumpstart therapy by mobilizing your internal resources needed to ultimately overcome your difficulties. At the end of this session we review our findings and lay out a treatment plan if you wish to do further work in follow-up sessions.
These session are usually 50 minutes long and occur on a weekly basis until you achieve your desired goals. Basically, we build on the trial therapy findings and keep mobilizing your internal resources so you can overcome your difficulties as rapidly as possible. The number of follow-up sessions required obviously depends on the type of difficulties you have and the level of change you want. In my practice, most people start experiencing significant symptom relief after the trial session and have an average of 7 follow-up sessions. In contrast, a full course of therapy for more complex treatment resistant conditions and personality patterns would be less than a year at about 40 sessions.
When people are trying to overcome their difficulties, less frequent therapy sessions can make it much harder to sustain momentum and present a major obstacle to achieving the desired goals. Block therapy sessions address this major obstacle in cases where people are unable to attend weekly follow-up sessions. Block sessions are between 3 and 4 hours long, including a short break, and occur on a monthly basis for those from outside Calgary or whose schedules preclude weekly sessions. These sessions are basically aimed at condensing a month of therapy work into one 3 to 4-hour block of time.
My approach to couples therapy places a major emphasis on helping partners remove barriers to more effective communication, conflict resolution, and emotional closeness. I function as a consultant to the partners, who are the primary sources of change in the relationship. Both partners must be willing to work together on their relationship--the way they interact-- rather than changing their partner. With each partner actively working together on shared goals, meaningful change can often occur in 5 to 10 sessions.