What to expect...

When seeking mental health services for the first time, it is not unusual for clients to feel uneasy about attending the first appointment. I recognize that this can be a difficult, but it is important to me that I make every effort to help you feel at ease. Part of what makes many people feel hesitant about accessing treatment is simply not knowing what to expect.

All sessions will be conducted via telehealth, as this is now a telehealth-only location.

The first session is scheduled to allow for up to 60 minutes, with a goal of determining your expectations for treatment, and making sure we seem to be a good fit. Subsequent appointments are scheduled between 45 to 60 minutes in length (unless otherwise arranged). Please log on, on time for your session. I hope you will understand that, if you arrive more than fifteen minutes late, I will not be able to meet with you that day. Please be sure to read more about attendance policies in the paperwork I will send to you to get started with services. If I do not hear from you and you do not arrive at all, the day of your first scheduled appointment, I will generally refer you to another of my colleagues for further services. I will always make every attempt to try to start on time, as well as to end on time, so that we may remain on our schedule and not keep others waiting; however, as emergencies may arise, I will be sure to take the time necessary to assist as is needed, and will ask for your patience should that ever affect the time I spend with you. Generally, most all appointments will begin at the time they have been previously scheduled, and I will reach out via text, email or telehealth chat, prior to the session, if I expect that I will be running later than five minutes past our scheduled time. I would ask that you please do the same as soon as you know you may need to reschedule or if you are running late.  

For your initial appointment, there is a small amount of paperwork necessary. I will send this to you via email, and do ask that all necessary paperwork is returned to me no later than the night before the day we are scheduled to meet, so as to give me time to review before meeting. Forms can be returned via email, confidential sharing portal/link, or mailed in the regular US mail to my main office. The legal guardian of any child participating in treatment MUST attend the first session, and all legal guardians MUST sign consent paperwork for treatment to begin. Be sure to read carefully over all these documents so that you are fully aware of all necessary paperwork being requested, and let me know as soon as possible if you have questions or concerns. Parents/guardians seeking treatment on behalf of minors should take special care in reviewing all necessary paperwork in order to fully understand the many differences to expect in their treatment.

You can expect that I will be friendly and understanding, and that I will take the time to get to know you in order to help determine the best plan of care for you. At the end of your initial appointment, you will have the option to schedule another appointment if you feel that I am a good match for you, but I generally ask that you take as long as you need to make that decision. Alternately, other treatment options and referrals could be discussed. Your input is important to your treatment, and you have the right to end therapy services whenever you choose. Most clients leave the initial appointment feeling more relaxed and comfortable about the therapy process.

Telehealth is available via Doxy, a HIPAA compliant, web based service, that only requires that you use a device that will connect to the internet, and allow the use of a mic and camera. Mic and camera MUST both be used during the sessions, and LCSW reserves the right to reschedule if safety AND confidentiality, along with proper equipment cannot be maintained (see Office Policies and Consent to Telehealth.)  Please be sure to check out the link, and contact the company if you run into any technical problems before we are scheduled to meet. Feel free to book mark this link, that will always remain the same each time we meet:  https://doxy.me/amandagaler