These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding how therapy works.

What can I expect in the first session when I see a therapist?

In the first session with a therapist it is really about seeing if it is a good "fit" for you.  You want to see if you feel comfortable enough with the therapist in order to be able to open up and really say what is going on with you at a deep level.  

The therapist will most likely have you fill out an intake form with your name and address. In addition, there will either be written paperwork or a verbal discussion about the fact that therapy is both privileged and confidential. There are a few exceptions to confidentiality, such as when a person is in danger, or abuse is involved.  Otherwise you should know that whatever you say to your therapist is private and cannot be shared with an outside party.  This is to ensure that you feel safe and protected in the therapy relationship, and that you can say whatever is on your mind -- knowing that the therapist will keep it private and confidential.  

The therapy relationship is one which is designed to help you grow and achieve your goals -- in a supportive and caring environment!

How can I communicate better with my child?

You as a parent want to know how you can communicate with your child or teen.  The truth is that nobody gives parents a manual on how to do this job called parenting!  Often we as parents simply do what our parents did with us when we were children.  

We may repeat the same words and actions we learned from our parents -- and think "oh no -- I sound just like my mother/father!"  The important thing to remember is that, with help, you can learn new and better ways to talk to your child.  You can learn how to be there to support your child and teen through the rough times.  You can practice how to be the "safe person" your child/teen knows is always on his/her side.  

Learning empathic listening skills which involve truly hearing your child's problems and offering neutral and non-judgmental feedback is key.  Therapy can help teach parents these skills.  Once you know how to use these parenting techniques, you can create a lifelong positive relationship between you and your child.  Communication, connection and positive relationships are the key.  With the proper tools, you and your child will grow together and learn how to have a loving and caring relationship.

What is a mediator and collaborative coach?

If you are contemplating a separation or divorce, there are some great new and effective ways for you and your spouse to reach agreement without going to court.  Before heading into costly litigation, consider using a Mediator or a Divorce Coach.

What is the difference?  Which method is right for us?

A lot of this will depend upon your situation and how you and your spouse approach the process.

A Mediator is trained to help couples find solutions by facilitating a respectful and productive discussion focused on finding solutions which work for both of you.  Mediation can be a very cost-effective way to work out a marriage dissolution if both parties are reasonable and both of you are willing to work together towards finding agreement.

Another great way to go can be The Collaborative Divorce Team Approach.  This can be an excellent way to proceed if you and your spouse are having difficulty agreeing and if there are children involved.  The Collaborative Divorce Team process involves you and your spouse both working with a team of two attorneys, two divorce coaches and a financial neutral and child specialist neutral.  You and your spouse each have your own attorney and your own divorce coach on the team, to help you figure out the legal and emotional solutions which will work best for you and your family.

Both Mediation and The Collaborative Divorce Team approach keep families out of court, allowing you and your spouse to design the exact agreement which works for you and your family.  Both these alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) allow for a more flexible divorce agreement  -- and help you and your spouse preserve goodwill and positive family relationships moving forward.