Therapy and Coaching Process

The general process I use when starting with clients involves four steps:

1.) Initial Evaluation
This involves meeting with the client(s) for an in-depth assessment of what’s bringing them in as well as a general assessment of overall functioning on a psychological, biological and social level. This meeting typically takes 60 – 75 minutes and involves answering a variety of questions related to one’s life. It’s also an opportunity for the client to ask questions of me, to get a clearer idea of the therapy and/or coaching process.

This initial visit serves as a starting point for understanding the client and beginning the change process. Assessment, however, is a continuous process, as more information is discovered and clarified. Depending on the results of this initial visit, referrals may be made to ancillary resources. For example, a referral may be made to a medical doctor to rule out potential underlying causes of anxiety or depression, if this hasn’t been done already.

2.) Goal Development
Goal Development: over the next 1 – 2 sessions, we will clarify your goals for therapy. I typically give clients a goals worksheet at the end of the first appointment to work on independently. We then discuss the goals together for clarification and specificity. The process of carving out time to articulate goals, both independently and together in session, is a powerful initial step toward change.

While goals can and do change, I believe it’s important to have a map at the start to help keep us on track. Periodically, we’ll review the goals to see what’s improving and what needs more attention.

3.) Implementation
The next step after goal development involves the application of techniques and exercises for accomplishing the client’s objectives. This process takes place both during sessions and through the use of “homework” assignments between our meetings. Like any challenging endeavor, the more effort expended on therapy or coaching tasks typically translates into more results. Part of my job is to instill hope, help the client tap into their inherent problem-solving abilities that may be dormant and serve as a catalyst for increasing motivation.

During the implementation or "intervention" stage, the beginning of each session will include a “check-in” to see what’s going well, what’s still difficult, what seems to be helping and so forth. Changes to the treatment/healing plan are made as needed.

I strongly encourage clients to bring up anything that feels important, including questions about their situation and progress. Open and honest collaboration is a very important part of the therapy and coaching process.

4.) Ending
The therapy and coaching process ends when the client is no longer in need of my services. This typically happens when a client has accomplished their goals or when a client needs a different type of help that another provider must provide. Of course, clients are free to end therapy any time they choose. However, it’s usually best if both the therapist and client agree upon when to end the process. In order to provide proper closure and to reinforce the gains made, the ending or “termination” process is best accomplished over several sessions.

Sometimes, a client may choose to re-enter therapy or coaching if things change in their life and they can once again benefit from working with a professional. I welcome all former clients back.