Associates in Comprehensive Counseling

Initial ContactGoals and OutcomeAssessment InstrumentsTermination

Initial Contact
The first step is to call us to answer any questions or to make an appointment. Therapy sessions may focus on the immediate crisis, resolution more in depth issues, or combining therapy with various family members as needed.

Our initial appointment is often called an "initial evaluation." This appointment is scheduled for you to discuss your concerns and problems from your point of view. There may be time during this appointment to obtain historical and other background data or this information may be gathered at subsequent sessions. In times of crises, the usual format of an "initial evaluation" is not followed in the hope that the time might be used to resolve or relieve the immediate crisis. At times your therapist may ask you to complete at least one questionnaire concerning your concerns and problems. Outcomes of the questionnaires will be used to target specific goals and be discussed with you as during ensuing treatment sessions.

Goals and Outcome
We expect and encourage you to obtain knowledge of the procedures, goals, and possible outcomes of counseling. We expect to make our contact one where you receive the maximum benefit, and we will also keep you informed about alternatives. Counseling may be beneficial for some individuals while, at the same time, there are some risks. The risks may include the experience of intense and unwanted feelings, including sadness, anger, fear, guilt, or anxiety. It is important to remember that these feelings may be natural and normal and an important part of the therapy process. Other risks of therapy might include: recalling unpleasant life events, facing unpleasant thoughts and beliefs, increased awareness of feelings, values, and experiences, alteration of an individual's ability or desire to deal effectively and harmoniously with others in relationships. In therapy, major life decisions are sometimes made, including: changes within yourself regarding you own sense of who you are, awareness of problems and changes in relationships, and decisions regarding your life goals. These decisions are a legitimate outcome of the therapy experience as a result of an individual's evaluation of their life issues. Your therapist will be available to discuss any of your assumptions, problems, or possible effects of our work together.

Assessment Instruments
In addition to the "initial evaluation," it is often beneficial to conduct a "formal" psychological assessment. The decision to assess using psychological instruments will be discussed with the client in advance, and the discussion will include the nature of the tests to be utilized, the rationale for the testing and if warranted, the results of the testing.

Termination of psychotherapy may occur any time and may be initiated by either the client or the therapist. We request that if a decision is being made to terminate, there be a minimum of a seven-day notice in order that a final termination session(s) may be scheduled to explore the reasons for the termination. Termination itself can be a constructive, useful process. If any referral is warranted, it will be made at that time.