Your first time to see a psychologist?

If this is the first time you have consulted a psychologist, it is normal to feel some hesitation and some uncertainty. It is often hard enough to find a shop where you can take your car for repair, so when it involves your personal feelings and issues that bother you------- well, that really is taking it up a notch!

Here are several thoughts to help you understand what to expect. As with other physicians’ offices, the first visit starts with filling out a short form when you arrive at the office (if you like, you may download the Intake Form, complete it at home, and bring it with you). This form includes basic personal information, your insurance information, and your signature indicating you agree to having information sent to your insurance company. And your signature also means you agree to pay your share of the session cost.

At the first session, I ask if you have any questions, if you understand your insurance, and give you two more forms to read and sign. These forms also may be downloaded and read before you come in (HIPPA and Outpatient Agreement). The rest of the session includes:

What led you to call for a session? How long have you been troubled with your situation? What are your symptoms (depression? anxiety? worry? anger? grief? sadness”)? A description of your family, starting with your grandparents and working through to the youngest in your family today. A description of your growing up years including school, friends, work, legal problems, if any, health problems, substance use/abuse, and medications you are taking. The session ends with the question, “What are your goals in coming? What would you like to see happen as the result of coming here?”

You will need to decide how comfortable you are talking to me about your personal issues. If you are not comfortable, I insist that you feel free to say so. I want what is best for you, and if I am not the one to help you, my goal is to help you find the help you need.

Want to save time?

Complete this form at home and bring it with you.