I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, counseling is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

How therapy with Dr. Lyndsey Motarefi works

Your first session/s will involve an evaluation of your needs. While evaluation is ongoing, the initial phase of evaluation will result in a discussion of your therapy goals and recommendations about how you might reach those goals. You and I will work together to reach a shared understanding of where your problems come from and what factors in your life contribute to keeping those problems in place. This information guides how you will move forward in resolving them. Should either of us determine that the type of treatment I can offer, or the mode of treatment (online) is not a good fit for you, or even if we find that I am not a good fit, I will share recommendations for the right type of treatment and provider.

While the specific methods of therapy will come from our assessment, it may be helpful for you to understand the general process. Initially, our work will be about getting to know and understand you, together. We’ll look at your current life, your early life, and even your “life” in the therapy room with me to see if we can find themes that exist in all three areas. When we discover those kinds of thematic issues, it helps us to know that we are working on a “core” issue. Core issues can initially feel harder to work on and can bring up more pain, but ultimately can provide longer-term relief. We will also do things to bring immediate relief to areas of suffering – for example if you struggle with sleep or anger or anxiety, we’ll assess it deeply and then practice strategies to overcome it.

If you have unanswered questions about any of the procedures used in the course of your therapy, their possible risks, the clinician’s expertise in employing them, or about the treatment plan, please ask and you will be answered fully. You also have the right to ask about other treatments for your condition and their risks and benefits.

How long will it take?

Therapy is a process that is unique to each client and the challenges they are presenting with. Some presenting issues can be worked on very effectively in a fairly short period of time (10-20 sessions). Other challenges may take much longer. It can be difficult to predict exactly how long therapy will last and this is best discussed in your first session. You and your therapist will put together a treatment plan and goals that you will be working toward. A guideline to remember is if you attend forty 50-minute therapy sessions that is less than an average work week. If you have questions regarding the length of treatment, please feel free to discuss this with your therapist at the start and/or at any point during therapy.

Online Therapy- Technology How To:

Both booking appointments and attending sessions will be done utilizing my video software, Simple Practice. Clients will be provided with a link to their client portal during our conversation requesting an appointment, or via my website where you may request to book sessions.

Most clients opt in to receive invitations to sessions via email or text. If this is the case for you, you’ll receive an email from Simple Practice, reminding you of your upcoming session date and time.

I encourage clients to do a test log in prior to our appointment to make sure that everything is working well on their side. You can check that your microphone, speakers, and video are working this way.

It takes a few seconds after you log into the waiting room for us to show up on each other’s screens. That’s normal. If it seems to be taking an inordinate amount of time, feel free to text, email, or call me so that we can troubleshoot together.

Please be sure to EXIT out of any programs that steal bandwidth prior to our sessions. QUIT (don’t just minimize) Skype, carbonite, Google drive back up, or any other cloud backup service. Please ensure that no one in your home is streaming video or playing graphic heavy online video games, as this will decrease our Internet connection.

Tech issues are rare and usually very easy to solve. Turning things off and back on again typically fixes most issues.

Additional Pro-Tips for Online Therapy

  • If others will be nearby while you are in therapy, ensure that you have adequate privacy prior to session. Psychotherapy is serious work. You do not want to be interrupted.
  • Turn off notifications on your computer and phone once we are connected.
  • Bring tissues. If you were in my office, I’d provide them for you.
  • You may be extra cozy because you are somewhere familiar to you and you may feel more casual because the work is online and you are used to socializing that way. Remind yourself prior to the session that you are here to do the meaningful work of positive change.
  • Research says that the connection between therapist and client is the primary determinant of therapeutic change. I want to make sure that we connect well over video so in our first session, I’ll share some tricks to make sure that we can look at each other, rather than the camera, when we talk. If it looks off to you, please let me know. Eye contact matters.

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1 (305) 787-3677

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