What to Expect
Most people are understandably a little nervous the first time they call for a counseling appointment, but I want you to keep in mind that doing so is the first step toward experiencing the inner peace you desire. I want you to be as comfortable as possible, so please allow me to explain a little about the process.
When you call for an appointment, I will make every effort to meet with you no later than the next business day. Prior to your appointment, my billing service will contact your insurance company to verify benefits, which is why you will be asked to provide your insurance identification or group number, birth dates, and such. This way, at your initial visit, I will be able to provide information (including your financial responsibilities) so that you can make an informed decision whether to proceed with the appointment.
I will help you evaluate the pros and cons of counseling (see the “Benefits & Risks" attached) and, assuming you choose to proceed with counseling, will collaborate with you to develop outcome goals on an individualized treatment plan with your emotional, mental, physical, social and spiritual nature in mind. This may involve referrals to other appropriate resources (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, self-help group, etc.). If additional counseling would be beneficial, we will discuss the frequency of future sessions, which typically last 45-60 minutes each, and whether it makes sense to invite others to participate (e.g., spouse, parent). I primarily use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (looking at the importance of your thoughts in how you feel and what you do), though I frequently draw from other theoretical frameworks as well. Don’t be surprised if I assign homework (e.g., practicing newly-acquired skills, reading assignments, etc.) to hasten results.
Throughout this process (and by reading the “About Linda Stockton” page), you will get to know how I approach things. It’s really important that you feel comfortable working with me because beyond the techniques and theories any therapist uses, evidence suggests the relationship itself is a primary element of successful therapy. If you don’t feel like we’re a “fit” after giving it a few sessions, please let me know and I will assist you in finding another therapist.