top of page
  • afreemanlcsw

What to Expect

Reaching out to a therapist can be intimidating. You might not know what the steps are for getting started, and you might not know what questions to ask. Here is a brief overview of what it looks like to kick off the process with me.

  1. You get in touch! Email tends to work best as an initial mode of contact, as it saves us a few days of phone tag. :) If you are looking to schedule an ongoing appointment at a certain day or time, this is a great time to share that. I want to make sure I can accommodate you from a practical standpoint before we begin to explore if we're a good fit on other levels.

  2. Schedule a consult call. We will converse over email to set up a time for us to speak on the phone for about 15 minutes. If you prefer to skip this step and move forward with scheduling an initial session, that's totally fine! If it doesn't turn out to be a fit, I am happy to provide referrals to other providers. Not sure what to ask during that initial call or session? I encourage you to ask about my experience and training as relates to your particular challenge/identity/lived experiences/diagnosis/etc. Competent care is so important, and it's in both our best interests that I be well prepared to meet you where you are.

  3. The paperwork. Of course, filling out forms is not anyone's favorite task, but this is an essential part of the initial process. I will send you a link from SimplePractice that will bring you to my consent documents. It's important to review these carefully as they contain information about my practice, including my 24 hour cancellation policy. If any questions come up in the process, you can shoot me a text or email and I'll get back to you with an answer.

  4. The initial sessions. The first three session or so involve the process of assessing and treatment planning. I will inquire in further detail about the symptoms you are experiencing, the nature of your relationships, your daily habits, your strengths and interests, and your life history. While I will be asking a good amount of questions initially, I strive to do so in a way that is conversational and relaxed. I also always provide the caveat that you can decline to answer any of my questions until you feel comfortable.

  5. Finding our rhythm. Folks often like to ask what a session with me looks like. That can be hard to answer because I find that each session is its own dance, and the approach that might serve one person's needs may not serve another. As a general snapshot, I can say that my sessions tend to follow this fairly predictable cadence:

    • The check-in: I inquire about your current mood and the events from your week. I ask if you have any particular priorities for our session. I might follow up with you about where our last session left off, or ask if you were able to practice a skill we previously discussed. We might also simply spend a bit of time chit-chatting and easing in.

    • The "meaty" part: This might involve delving deeper into a topic that you bring to the session. It can also involve engaging in mindfulness or somatic practices. I often provide reflective listening and holding of space for you to process your feelings or experiences. I may highlight strengths I observe, ask reflective questions, and suggest various strategies that you can try between sessions.

    • The wrap-up. Noting the end of session coming near, I often check in with you about what you have coming up next in your day. We often naturally ease out of the "deep work" phase and into lighter chatting, sometimes discussing some "homework" for the upcoming week. This part is important so that you can log out of our session feeling grounded and ready to approach your next task or activity.

I hope this was a helpful glimpse into what therapy with me looks like. Please know I also check-in from time to time to see how our sessions are going, and invite you to give feedback at any time. Please know that there is no question too small, so if there are still some aspects of therapy that you're curious about, don't hesitate to ask!

40 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page