What is an Intake Session?
The purpose of the intake session is for me to create the most whole and accurate picture of you as possible. In other words, this is a time where I go over all there is to know (as if that's possible in one session) about you to help gather a picture to help you both out. The intake sessions is usually a session that I require to commence work with you for the 121 programme.
It is a clinical assessment, done in the most warm and fun way possible. It is an opportunity for your to ask all the questions you need about the way I work, how the process work, what it is like to go through a healing journey and to discuss your fears, hopes and expectations from the whole healing or therapy process and what do you need to make better with your life.
Being honest is crucial. I know how difficult it can be to talk about hard things you may have experienced (i.e., neglect, childhood abuse, family or parent substance abuse, couples conflict), but they also know how much of a need it is and relief it feels to get it off your chest. Although that doesn’t all (i.e. getting it out) come within the first session, we are prepping for the opportunity ahead of you!
There will be questions about previous therapy. I will want to know if you have been in therapy before. Did someone refer you to therapy? Were you ever hospitalised for psychiatric or physical purposes? Do you take any psychotropic medications? If so, what are they? Most likely, I will enquire what you liked and disliked about previous therapists and what previous goals were. I may want to know what you expect from your me, the process. How long should it last? What do you want to see change from the beginning to the conclusion of therapy? Last, I will want to know in your own words why you are coming in? What exactly is happening so that you sought out therapy? Knowing what you have accomplished in previous work and what you expect from current therapy will inform my approach working together and moving forward in the most psychologically informed way possible.
Typically, towards the end of the intake form, your therapist will want to know if there is anything else that you want them to know about you. This is a great opportunity for you to expound on any of the answers your previously provided. Also, towards the end of the form, your counselor will ask you to write your strengths. You are so strong and have come so far in life! Your therapist will want to know how you have made life work and then help you find even more strengths within yourself.
What to expect in our first session?
A comfortable, confidential, safe and professional space.
A thorough discussion around your needs and what can help.
An understanding of my philosophy of work and how therapy with me works.
All your questions answered about therapy and healing in the context of working together.
A plan of treatment at the end of the session.
What to expect after the Intake Session?
In case we turned out to be the best fit for working together at this time in your life. Because it maybe the case that you may need a different approach to healing, or that I don't think that I am the right professional for you or vice versa. This is communicated in the first session to support us both move forward in the most professionally informed way possible.
If we agree to work together, the following forms will be required from you.
The document lays out the framework for the legal and logistical parts of therapy. The informed consent will likely be packed with information such as social media policies, mandated reporting laws, what will happen to your file if your therapist expires, payment arrangements, cancellation policies, confidentiality statements, and anything else that your therapist may think is important.
This is a fun exercise that we will play together as a game in the first session that will paint a clearer picture of all the healthy boundaries that are required for you around your therapy process and healing journey outside the therapy room, the boundaries I have as a therapist as times to contact, emergency situations etc, this will help make the communication easier and clearer between both of us so we can build our alliance.
Release of Information:
A release of information is a form that allows me to speak with other professionals you may be visiting. In the therapy world when many professionals come together to help the health and well-being of an individual it is called collaborative care.
I may ask you if you would like your other health-care professionals to be able to communicate with them. Collaborating with other professionals can enhance the effectiveness of therapy in many ways. Therapists often spend more time with clients than other health professionals. Because of this inequal amount of time, therapists can act as an advocate for their client if there are any concerns.
If you agree to a collaborative care approach, you will be signing a release of information. On a release of information form there are specific information; who can the therapist speak with, when the form will expire, and what you can do if you decide to retract the form. As mentioned previously though, it might not be discussed in session because it might not be of interest to you. This is not required.
If you have been reading through my website, you will understand that my approach to healing is holistic, acknowledge body, mind, heart and soul.
To move forward in a professional way, I will need to have a look at the following tests to eliminate any physiological factors.
1. Complete Blood Picture.
2. Liver and Kidney functions.
3. T3 and T4 / Hormones test.
This will also help with the next and final form in this process:
Health History Form:
If you would like me to sum up the whole purpose of the intake session, I will say it is to understand your neurodivergence and bio-individuality, to understand what really works for you. Throughout the therapy I will be introducing some dietary habits to help your mood and support your integrative nutrition. To do that, I need to make sure that this is the best for your bio-individuality; in other words what is unique about your biological and physiological processes that would mean that certain food groups, environments, general dietary approach would work better for you than others.
If you want to understand more about my philosophy and have not yet done so, please see here.