In the first few sessions we especially focus on:
a) identifying your concerns, needs and goals for therapy; and
b) devising a comprehensive treatment plan to address these.
I will routinely check-in with you, throughout the course of therapy, to make sure we are continuing to discuss what is important to you and to ensure you are finding our sessions helpful.
If clients are receptive, I assign specific 'homework' in order to reinforce our work together and maximize the impact of therapy between sessions. Homework tasks may include: self-help readings or webcasts, keeping a mood/thought record, memorizing positive affirmations, being more self-compassionate, listening to relaxation CDs/ podcasts, trying meditation techniques, using thought-stopping strategies, practicing social or assertiveness skills, gradual exposure, etc. Homework empowers you to make and see progress on your own.
Just as a muscle requires regular exercise to maintain its strength and flexibility, the brain's pathways are fortified by practicing and repeating positive thoughts, behaviors and skills. Therefore, I believe it is very important to think about and practice what is discussed and learned outside of your counselling sessions.