This guide will give you an idea of why we ask the questions we do – we want clients to get a clear picture of who you are and your approach to therapy, so they can make more informed decisions about their mental health care. To reduce uncertainty for clients, we’d like you to share what they can expect from a session with you, both in a practical sense and in terms of the relationship they may have with you. We hope that this will be an opportunity to express yourself authentically, beyond qualifications and logistics, in order to kick start strong and lasting therapeutic relationships.
How would you describe your approach to therapy?
This is a great section to share what type of therapist you are, and details about your approach. How do you see your role vs. the clients role? Are you tough or soft? Passive or active? Do you bring your energy to the room or do you expect the client to? How do you guide the session, through exercises, conversation? Which modalities do you use and why?
e.g. My approach is collaborative – I don’t view therapy as just a talking or venting session. I believe that you are the expert of your own life, and my role is to guide you, to understand you and to enable you to see your issues from a new perspective. The same approach doesn’t work for everyone, so it may take some time to figure out what works for the both of us. I am active rather than passive, honest and frank when I feel I need to be. I work with various psychological modalities, mainly CBT, mindfulness and positive psychology.
What can I expect from my first session with you?
This section is about the practicalities of the session – rather than the emotions a client may or may not feel before going into a session. This is an opportunity to dispel any misconceptions that the client may have. Will I have to talk the whole time? What’s the room like? Will I do any exercises or questionnaires? Will there be homework? How about confidentiality? Is there anything I can or can’t say?
e.g. Practically, the session will run for an hour. We will first get to know each other – and you are free to ask me any questions, express any concerns you may have or highlight anything that might make you to feel more comfortable. There’s options to fill out some forms (or not), as well as a free talk session. What we do in your first session really depend on how you’re feeling, but don’t fret – I won’t ask for your life story to be condensed into one hour! It takes time, and we’ll take it slowly.
Do you have any particular area of interest or experience in the mental health space?
This is a great section to talk about any research, work experiences, volunteering or other involvement you’ve had in the mental health space. Feel free to plug your own website, blog or research papers.
e.g. I am particularly interested in anxiety – any form – social, generalized, any form of obsessive compulsive behaviors – and the neurology behind these conditions. I have done considerable personal research on these topics, particularly in young adults and looking at various interventions. I have completed my PhD in psychology and my thesis title was “Benefits and restrictions of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating obsessive compulsive behaviors in anxiety”. I believe personality can have a massive impact on the way we view our own mental wellness. You can read more on my blog at www.mybusinessname.com.au
How would you describe your personal approach to health/well-being?
This is all about your personal health and well-being! A lot of users have expressed that they’d like to know how you practice self care, considering this probably correlates strongly with the things you might suggest for them. Some are looking for a more spiritual outlook, whereas some may see the practical exercise or nutrition components reflective of shared values. This is all about honesty and just giving your clients some extra information about the way you see mental health interacting with other aspects of life.
e.g. I believe health and well-being in the mind arises from health and well-being in our physical bodies, social lives, family life, work life and most importantly in our perspective. I strongly advocate that therapy is only one piece of the complex mental health picture – and therefore spend significant amount of my time exercising, eating healthy (vegetables, probiotics, BALANCE) – but also believe happiness can arise from having a few vises – I LOVE chocolate! There is always some here in the office if you too are a chocolate lover.
Please provide details of your practice, including business name (if different to your name), business hours including out-of-hours availability and your website.
Please provide in the following format:
Monday, 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Tuesday, 9.30 am – 4.00 pm
Saturday, 12.00 pm – 5.00 pm
There is no need to put the days you are unavailable or closed. If you have an alternate practice address, this is a good place to let people know!