Your First Sessions

Your First SessionThis is what you can usually expect from your first few sessions with Dr. Miller:

Dr. Miller will briefly introduce himself and his services. Then he will review your completed intake information form and ask you to present your concerns to him and why you seek his services. He will listen, take notes and ask questions. By the end of the first session, Dr. Miller will advise you about whether or not he can help you.  You will then agree to a fee and the methods of payment.

From there, Dr. Miller will ask you to articulate your treatment goals and to disclose more of your historical background information. At some point, Dr. Miller may ask you for permission to consult with your physician, partner or other helping professionals in your life. You will discuss your situation further and Dr. Miller will recommend the methods that he proposes to work with you. He may advise you to engage in individual, couple, group or family therapy. Or, he may suggest personal or business coaching or consulting.

Dr. Miller will recommend whatever he believes would be the best approach for improving your particular situation. If Dr. Miller determines that he is not the best local professional to treat your problem, he may refer you to another specialist who he believes might provide you with better service or faster results. Dr. Miller will also explain his service policies and procedures and what to expect from your sessions together.

It usually takes about three to four sessions to: 1) Clarify your concerns and priorities, 2) Gather background information, and 3) Agree to follow a plan. From that point on, together you will follow the plan, track progress and make adjustments as needed. Together, you will decide what course to take and when and how to end or discontinue your meetings.

At any time, you can re-negotiate the therapeutic or coaching plan. And you must always participate with effort and determination, striving to reach your personal goals. Psychotherapy and coaching techniques are collaborative processes. Dr. Miller does not have the power or influence to manipulate or change your behavior, thoughts, beliefs or emotions without your putting in significant effort. And, results can never be guaranteed because there are too many variables involved in the process. Successful outcomes usually depend upon your effort to change, trust, a positive attitude, and a strong alliance between the client and the therapist. For more information on this topic, read Dr. Miller’s articles entitled Success Factors in Psychotherapy, Potential Benefits of Psychotherapy and Potential Benefits of Business Coaching. Sometimes, he may suggest that you engage in a combination of these different types of therapeutic approaches depending upon your needs.

Often, a serious psychotherapy commitment takes about one year to complete. Sometimes more and sometimes less time is needed. If Dr. Miller recommends individual psychotherapy, he will usually ask you to come in for regularly scheduled weekly 50-minute psychotherapy sessions until you reach your agreed treatment goals.  If he advises group, couples or family therapy, then these will usually commence as weekly sessions but may be scheduled for up to 90-minutes in length.

Before entrance into group therapy, Dr. Miller requires some individual orientation sessions to: 1) Educate you about the group process, 2) Assess you for “good fit” into the existing group, 3) Develop a strong relationship with you as the group leader, and 4) Prepare you to enter the group.

When working with couples and families, Dr. Miller usually has an individual session with each partner and family member after meeting with them conjointly. This helps clients to build personal rapport with Dr. Miller and allows him to get to know each member and their perspective in more depth.

If Dr. Miller suggests a personal or business coaching approach, then he usually meets bi-weekly with clients for 50-minutes for in-person, telephone or internet Skype sessions. Coaching demands clear and measurable goals and a sincere commitment to follow through diligently with assignments between coaching sessions. Coaching engagements often last between 6 to 12 months in duration.

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