Do I need a referral from a doctor for therapy?
No. You can refer yourself by simply calling. While some clients are directly referred (i.e. through their doctor, community agency) a referral is not required. When I receive a referral from a source that is not the direct client, I would contact the client to assess their interest and motivation for service. Children and adolescents are most often referred by their parents/guardians and I require that people in the family system are aware of and partake in the therapeutic process as required based on the child/adolescent’s specific needs.
What can I expect when meeting with my therapist for the initial appointment?
During the initial session(s), I gather information from the client and or their family pertaining to the presenting concern (e.g. what brings you to counselling, how long have you been dealing with the issue, what contributes to the problem, etc.) and work towards developing a trusting relationship. Subsequent sessions focus on helping the client gain a better understanding of their emotional and behavioural patterns, developing problem-solving strategies, and work towards shifting the person in order to meet their goals.