What to Expect When Getting Started with Therapy

Taking the first step into family therapy can feel intimidating. You may feel worried, frustrated, or helpless and might not feel sure whether therapy is right for you and your family.  Let me put you at ease—those feelings are completely normal, and therapy can help. I want to make this process as comfortable as possible for you. Here’s a step-by-step guide of what to expect:


Step 1: Initial Contact

Give me a call, send me an email, or reserve time online for a brief introductory call. During this call you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions, tell me a little bit of background about your family, and discuss which issues with which you’re struggling. If you decide to take the next step, we’ll set an appointment.


Step 2: Pre-session Forms and Information

Before coming to your first appointment, please take a few minutes to print and fill out the three forms below, or arrive 15 minutes early for your first appointment and fill out the forms in person.

CA Confidentiality Privilege

Psychotherapist-Patient Agreement

Intake Information


Step 3: First Session

During your first session, we’ll get to know each other. I want to hear your story, including why you sought family therapy and what goals you’d like to achieve. At the end of this session, we’ll have a good idea of whether we’ll work well together. If you’d like to meet some other therapists, I’m happy to provide you with referrals to respected colleagues. I won’t be offended by the request. It’s important for you to feel comfortable and confident in our working relationship. Sessions typically last around 50 minutes, followed by a few minutes to wrap up, process payments and set follow-up appointments.


Step 4: Continued Therapy

Once we begin working together, I ask that you commit to at least eight sessions.  Sessions are typically scheduled once per week. Because therapy will be individualized based on your needs, I’ll be able to gauge the total length of therapy needed to meet your goals after a few sessions. If you want to expedite the therapy process, I can provide you with homework to do between sessions, along with suggestions on books to read.