Your First Appointment
When you come for your first appointment, Dr. Ralston will go over your intake paperwork with you and answer any questions you have about it to be sure you understand it all. After that, he will spend the majority of the first session getting to know you and more details about what you are struggling with and what you would like to accomplish in therapy. At the end of your first session Dr. Ralston will spend a few minutes sharing with you more about the kind of therapy he provides, what your role and his role will be, about the overall structure guiding each session, and the various treatment options available to you.
Structured Sessions Tailored for Your Specific Needs
In most cases, by your second session Dr. Ralston will have developed the most effective and cost-efficient treatment plan, comprised of Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) and specifically tailored for your needs. He will review your treatment plan with you and give you a copy of it at your second session. While your treatment plan guides the overall course of therapy that will be provided to you, it is also flexible and can be modified along the way depending on your needs. The structure of each session is also always flexible depending on your needs. When you are progressing fine, each session will generally begin with a brief check-in on how you are doing and what you would like Dr. Ralston to know about your experience since your last session. Then he will be interested in your thoughts about your last session. Next, he will go over your between-session assignments given to you at your last session. Following that, Dr. Ralston will teach you new things related to what you are coming to therapy for. These new things often include education about how the problem you are having developed and how it is being maintained.
Dr. Ralston will teach you new and specific helpful ways of thinking and behaving for you to practice in order to build new habits that will minimize or elimate the problem for which you sought therapy. At the end of each session, Dr. Ralston will ask you to tell him what you learned in that session. He asks this because he wants to be sure you are learning new things that will be helpful to you related to the problems you brought to therapy. Then, together you will go over what your assignments will be for your next session, and then schedule that next session.
Length of Treatment
Your therapy will continue with hourly meetings like this on a weekly basis for approximately one to six months. The duration of your therapy may be shorter or longer based on what is most helpful to you given the problems for which you are coming to treatment.