What to Expect
The First Appointment
Many people show up for the first appointment at least nervous, suspicious, or even skeptical that counseling can do anything for them. That’s actually very reasonable. A good therapist should be able to answer all of your questions, help you make sense of your problems, and demonstrate how the suggestions made could help improve your relationship. During our initial session, we will ask you to share with us, from your perspective, what types of challenges you’re experiencing and how long they have been present. We might also ask a little bit about your family and experiences growing up. Enough to help us understand what types of relationships you saw and how your past might be impacting your expectations for this relationship. At the end of the session I will share with you what I’ve heard, and my initial perspectives on your challenges, and then make recommendations for where I’d like to go with your case. At that time you will have the opportunity to once again ask any questions you have to make sure everything was clear, seems reasonable, and that you are getting what you want out of therapy.
What We Work On
One thing that almost everyone coming to see me has in common is that their friendship has been neglected or damaged. When this happens small conflicts become big conflicts, big conflicts become huge conflicts, and no conflicts are forgotten about. The most important thing I do in counseling is to work on rebuilding or repairing. This is a sign that trust is slowly starting to be restored. When you have a relationship built on trust and a solid friendship most conflicts aren’t nearly as threatening and tend to work themselves out.
There are some conflicts, however, that for a variety of reasons have become bigger than you. Maybe you weren’t able to resolve the issue so it got pushed under the rug. Perhaps it was so big no one knew how to even begin working on it. These are some of the ways conflict can leave you in a state of gridlock. Together we will work on resolving and healing the hurts from these past conflicts.
What Dr. Rice Does
It is my job to teach clients how to make a relationship work. I will help you understand the sources of your conflicts and the roadblocks keeping you from being able to communicate and resolve them. I will help you walk through whatever specific issues you have to begin to heal the past and help you move forward. I will show you how to keep different priorities, values, and communication styles from threatening your friendship. Finally, I will teach you how to safeguard your relationship in ways that are practical, reasonable, and easy to understand.
What You Can Expect
It’s very important to me that all clients are set up to be successful on their own. In the office, you can expect I will help you work through and heal conflicts. I will teach you how to prioritize your relationship so it doesn’t go back to this place again. Many people come in overwhelmed, frustrated, and feeling defeated. The last thing they need is for a therapist to judge them, change them, ask them to be someone they aren’t, or give them unrealistic things to do. Weekly date nights and weekend getaways are wonderful but if you are working full-time and raising children on a budget that may not be very realistic. Since many happy individuals/couples tend to fit that description I also know you shouldn’t have to do those things to have a successful relationship. I will look at your priorities, strengths, and challenges to figure out together how to make the relationship strong.