Getting started in therapy

Taking the first step can be intimidating. I would like to make this process as safe for you as possible. So let me tell you what to expect:

Making contact:

First call my voice mail or email me and let me know that you are interested in therapy. I will give you a call back and we will talk for a few minutes. This first conversation gives us a chance to get to know each other and we can talk about some basic business up front. If you decide to take the next step, we will set up an appointment to meet. Before you are ready to set the first appointment, you might have questions about fees and using insurance. Please scroll down to see the payment portion of this page.

Forms:

There are usually a number of forms to complete before your first session. You can access these forms online, fill them out and bring them to your first appointment. Or you can come in 5 minutes before your session and I will leave the forms for you to complete in the waiting room. 

First session:

Our sessions are 50 - 60 minutes in length. We usually wrap things up after 50 min and then we have a few minutes to process payment and to set a follow-up appointment. 

The purpose of the first session is for us to get to know each other. I would love to hear your story, to learn about what prompted you to seek therapy and to talk about your goals. You will have a chance to see my office, to get to know me and to hear more about how I do therapy. By the end of our first session, we should have a good idea about whether we will work well together. If you prefer to shop around and meet with some other therapists, I will be happy to give you some referrals to colleagues I respect. I believe it's really important for us to have a good relationship if we are going to work well together. So I value your input and will not be offended if you chose not to continue beyond session 1. 

Length of therapy:

Most often we schedule sessions for once a week. After we have met and decided to work together, I ask clients to commit to 8-10 sessions. This varies somewhat depending on your circumstances. After a few sessions, I will be able to give you an idea of the length of therapy to achieve your goal. This depends on the type of symptoms you are experiencing, how long you have had your symptoms and how much stress you are experiencing. If you want to expedite your therapy process, I can give you homework assignments to do between sessions, books to read and ask you to reach out for support from additional sources.

Payment:

Payment for the session can be made through check, credit card or cash. I will collect the fee at the end of our session. On your request I will give you a superbill that you can submit to your insurance company (if they cover therapy). The fee per 50 minute session is $140. If these rates are not affordable for you, speak to me about scholarship rates or referrals. 

Why Psychotherapy?

People choose to come to psychotherapy because there is something in their life that they would like to change or achieve. Here are some reasons my clients have given for seeking therapy:

  • I feel stuck and I’m just not sure how to move forward
  • A relationship problem that keeps recurring
  • I’ve experienced something traumatic
  • I feel caught in feelings of anxiety or depression and I can’t get out
  • I’m experiencing a similar problem in multiple settings (home, work, church, etc.)
  • I feel lonely
  • I consistently do something that I know isn’t good for me
  • I’m adjusting to a serious medical diagnosis for myself or a loved one
  • The phrase “constantly stressed out” aptly describes me
  • I just need to talk with someone who will listen and not judge me


    What Is Psychotherapy?

    Therapy is the intentional process of seeking change--a move towards healing. As a therapist, it is my role to assist you in facilitating the change that you are desire. I enter into a relationship with you that provides a secure environment in which to explore the nature of the change you seek. Together we work to achieve your goals, as I offer you expertise from my experience and training. 

    We work in the context of a professional relationship. More information about the legal and ethical requirements of this professional relationship is available on the consent forms for Psychotherapy.

    As a psychotherapist, my specialty is working in the area of the psyche. The ‘psyche’ or ‘soul’ refers to the mind, the will and the emotions. It is because of our ‘soul’ that we are able to think and to feel and to choose. In the process of therapy, you will achieve an awareness of your needs, your perceptions, your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. Therapy gives you the opportunity to explore your own nature. 

    You are only part ‘soul’, as human nature consists of Spirit, Soul and Body. Each of these domains affect one another. Therapy is an experience aimed at developing awareness about the workings of your soul, and the relationship between yourself and your environment. The desire is for a deep renewal of your whole being. For this reason I work from a
    “biopsychosocialspiritual – relational” framework. This is broken down as follows:

    Bio - Physical
    Psycho - Psychological
    Social - Action/Behavior
    Spiritual – Worldview/Values/Beliefs
    Relational – Individual in context of Friends/Family/Culture/Society


    Because the psyche affects, and is affected by, other areas of your humanness, I try to be attentive to all aspects of human nature. The importance of having this broad view is that behavior symptoms could stem from a number of causes. It is possible that a psychological symptom could be the result of an organic, physiological problem. Part of my assessment with a new client is asking when you last had a physical checkup. 

    It is my desire to understand and respect your spiritual worldview. Clients who feel strongly about their worldview may want to work with a clinician who either shares the same worldview, is familiar with it and/or can offer spiritual interventions. Integration of spiritual aspects along with psychological assessment and techniques can bring about powerful
    change.

    How does Psychotherapy work? 

    Various theories exist when it comes to the underlying assumptions about humanity, and what is believed to cause symptoms. 

    Short term therapy can work well to reduce symptoms, whilst longer term therapy can be effective in uncovering the deeper etiology of the problem.

    Regardless of whether therapy is short term or long term, it is agreed that the relationship between therapist and client is very important. Therefore it is vital that you find someone with whom you are comfortable entering into a therapeutic relationship. Some theories lean more heavily on technique, and others more heavily on the healing power of the relationship. 


    Preparation for Psychotherapy?

    It is important to me that you be fully informed as to the nature of treatment, the fees involved, and the expectations and requirements of treatment. The psychotherapy relationship will only begin
    once you have signed a legal consent for treatment. 

    Explanations and websites are available for you that address the modes of therapy that I use. Further information on the responsibilities and rights of the therapist and client, emergency situations and crises, confidentiality and limits of confidentiality, is available on the consent forms for therapy.

Kimberly Sandstrom Therapy
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase." – Martin Luther King Jr.

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