What should I do to prepare for our first appointment?
To make the best use of our time together, please complete the paperwork for new clients ahead of time, and put together a list of any questions you have, so that we make sure to address them during our session. Then, just take a big breath and relax.
What happens at our first appointment?
The first appointment is an opportunity for you and your counselor to meet each other and for you to ask any questions you have about the therapeutic process. Sessions are typically 50 minutes to 1 hour in length. My goal will be to get to know you and to learn about your story. I will be asking you a lot of questions (Why are you seeking counseling now? What are you hoping to change?) as well as answering whatever questions you have. Your job will be to tell your story as openly as you can and to decide if I am a good fit for you. We will finish by discussing whether we want to work together, and if so, we will schedule a second appointment that is convenient for you and discuss therapy goals.
What if you are not a good fit for me?
Fit is really important and not every counselor-client combination is right. If we are not a good fit, I will not take it personally, and I will do everything I can to help you find a counselor who is a better match for you.
What’s special about your practice?
The counselors at Northshore Family Counseling (NFC) are warm, relatable, and approachable. We will take time to understand where you have been, what has and has not worked for you in the past, and how these things affect you now. We believe that your history is important only to the extent that it impacts your choices today. Ultimately, we are focused on your possibilities – possibilities for healing, possibilities for growth, possibilities for change, possibilities for learning, possibilities for insight, and possibilities for understanding.
What happens at future appointments?
After the first appointment, we will both have a better understanding of what paths to go down, so we will begin to have more focused conversations specifically addressing those areas of most importance to you. I encourage clients to learn all that they can about the areas that we are working on. Often your counselor will recommend books, films, or articles to support you in your learning.
How often will I need to see you?
The answer is different for every client so we will decide together what makes sense to you. We may meet every week, every other week, or once a month. And, we may meet for a few weeks, a few months, or longer, depending upon your needs. Some clients even schedule “tune ups” once a year just to stay focused on their progress.
What are your fees?
Payment by cash, check, or credit card is due at the beginning of each session. All fees and charges will be as published in the current fee schedule, unless the counselor and client have made other arrangements. For more information about the current fee schedule, please call our office. Ilsa or Hanna will be happy to assist you.
Do you accept insurance?
We accept most insurance plans. Every effort will be made to work with your insurance company to ensure timely filing and payment. We will contact your insurance company and determine coverage, benefits, deductible, co-pay and authorization. Clients are responsible for fees if their insurance denies benefits.
How do I get started?
The best way to get started is to call our office. We will be happy to help you set up your first appointment. The counselors at Northshore Family Counseling (NSFC) look forward to working with you!