What if I am so nervous that I make a fool of myself when I call?
- Therapists expect the first call or email to be uncomfortable for you. We aren't looking to be impressed, we just want to hear from you. Personally, if you are nervous about the first call or email, you're exactly who I want to work with. I am not here to judge how well you express yourself, I'm here to help you find what you need to build confidence and reduce anxiety. All of us stumble over our words or get confused sometimes. And I get nervous at first phone calls, too!
What if I am not right for therapy or if the therapist can't help me?
- If you are considering therapy, there's a good chance that there's a valid reason you are seeking it out. If you don't meet the criteria for therapy, then that's okay! It's far better to be assessed and decide that therapy isn't necessary (or the right form of treatment) than to never be assessed when you truly need it. If I do an assessment and therapy isn't indicated, I can help refer you to some other resources or offer some other skills to help.
- Since I offer video-chat only therapy, mine might end up not being the mode of treatment for you. If that is the case, I will help try to connect you with a more appropriate resource so you can get what you need. Don't worry about whether you are wasting my time or another therapist's. This is what we are here for! Part of the job is assessing whether someone meets criteria for therapy.
What if I don't like the therapist or have had a bad experience in the past?
- Therapist fit is important, and therapist styles and personalities will vary widely. It is important to remember that you can't be expected to connect with everyone. Most therapists will offer some form of free phone call or face-to-face meeting (I offer phone calls and Skype calls for you to get an idea of my approach and personality). If you don't feel the ability to connect with a certain therapist, it doesn't mean therapy isn't right for you, it just might not be the right therapeutic fit. While I don't encourage shopping around too much, I do support trying to find someone who makes you feel comfortable and has an approach you identify with.
- If you've had a bad experience before, I hope that you will be willing to try again with a new therapist. Feel free to share with us what didn't work the first time so we can be sensitive to this and help avoid repeat concerns. We aren't all the same, so try not to let bad experiences taint your image of all therapists!
What if I have something embarrassing to share?
- First and foremost, you are able to take your time with disclosures. Just because we ask a question, it doesn't mean you have to share everything right away. I do encourage you to indicate when it is something to come back to when you are more comfortable, rather than letting the therapist believe it is not a concern. Topics such as abuse or embarrassing behaviors are very common for clients to not want to talk about. Simply saying, "I'd like to work up to talking about that," allows us to give you space but remain aware that it is something to be revisited.
- Secondly, we aren't here to judge, just help. It's often hard to hold things in, and it can be hugely beneficial to be able to express our fears or worries to another person. One function a therapist can offer is to just listen and validate. Terrifying as it may be to consider disclosing, there can be a great sense of relief once you are able.
- And lastly, we've probably heard something like it before. Everyone is different, of course, and as are your experiences, thoughts, and behaviors, but chances are I've encountered something similar and won't have the reaction that you fear. After working in a city clinic, I have heard such a range of stories, experiences, and thoughts that you don't need to worry about shocking me. If you're ready to disclose, I'm prepared to listen.