What should I expect from therapy sessions? Sessions are usually held in our private offices. During the first session, we will likely discuss your goals for therapy and begin to assess the situation and how best to proceed. Sometimes people have very specific things they want to work toward, but most people experience confusion about what is wrong and exactly what is needed. That’s okay and normal! That’s why you’re here! We will do our best to help you clarify the issues, draw upon your strengths and practice new ways to live your life more fully.
What if the therapy is for my children? Therapy for children and adolescents is a little different. For young children we often like to meet with parents first and assess what parents see as the main challenges. We will usually develop a basic starting point after which we can make recommendations about school, home-life, referrals to other professionals, etc. We can then proceed with a combination of individual and or family sessions. When appropriate, we can and do meet with school teachers, psychologists, doctors and psychiatrists.When working with adolescents, this can look very different. We may decide to meet together with your teenager and then switch to individual sessions. In some cases limiting parental involvement might be the wiser move. Please feel free to inquire about how and why we work with teens in this manner.
What about therapy for couples? Usually one partner makes contact with us. This is normal and when you call, we will ask you about whether your spouse is in favor of coming to therapy and what the basic reason is for seeking therapy. After we get this info, we can make a starting plan to maximize effectiveness and minimize any misunderstandings that can occur. Generally, we will meet in couples’ sessions and begin creating a safe place to work on communication and restoring balance to your relationship.
How often will we meet? Most common is weekly for 50 minute sessions (individuals) 75 minutes (couples & families). This schedule is flexible based on many factors. Mostly, we just want to make sure that the frequency and length of meetings is going to be effective in making progress.
What if I can't come to your office for sessions? In addition to office sessions, we also offer phone sessions and secure online video sessions. These options are helpful for people with disabilities, those living out of the area and those who are traveling. If our schedule permits it, we can and do make house calls and we are available for consultation at schools meetings, physician visits, etc.
When are you available? Please understand that we are NOT a crisis service. It takes a specialized program and trained professionals collaborating together to provide crisis services and keep people safe in the event of a mental health crisis. Personal crisis is sometimes a part of recovery and treatment and therefore, if you are in a life or death situation or feel that you need immediate emotional support or assistance, you should call the Butte County Crisis Line at: 800-334-6622 or 530-891-2810 or just call: 911. For a complete list of crisis services and support please visit this link: https://www.buttecounty.net /behavioralhealth/helpincrisis.aspx
How long does counseling last? Counseling can be short or long term depending upon the situation and needs. Deciding when to stop therapy is ultimately the client’s decision, but collaboration about when to stop coming is usually the best approach. When we begin therapy sessions, we should start with the end in mind. In other words, we often will predict how much time or how many sessions will be needed to accomplish the goals you desire. When ending therapy, we highly encourage you to schedule a closing session where we can tie up loose ends, assess what you have accomplished and experience appropriate closure which paves the way for future success.
During counseling sessions it's important that you feel safe and understood. We strive to create a trusting, authentic relationship so that genuine thoughts and feelings can be expressed and you can discuss what's important to you. We use a variety of methods and techniques to reduce difficulties with emotions, behavior and relational challenges. We are honored and pleased to assist you in this work!
The counselors working at this location are independent practitioners with their own policies and procedures and are operating independently from one another. Please ask your therapist to explain if you need clarification.
North Valley Counseling 2105 Forest Ave., Suite 120, Chico, CA