Starting therapy: An insider's look into our intake process
As summer winds down and the new school year begins, we often receive a number of referrals from prospective clients interested in seeking services for themselves or for their children. Starting therapy may seem like you are trying to put the pieces together of a complicated puzzle. Our goal at Think Happy Live Healthy is to help you make these pieces fit and for the process to be as smooth and efficient as possible. We applaud you for taking the first step of seeking support for you and/or your family members. Here is what you can expect from our practice:
First, you would complete a referral form. Be as detailed as you can with sharing information as this will greatly assist the process of matching you (or your children) with a therapist. We respond to every inquiry that is received and pride ourselves on communicating in a timely manner. In fact, you can anticipate that your referral request will be processed and responded to no later than one week after your submission. At that time, you will either hear directly from a therapist you have been matched with or one of our office administrators who will reach out to let you know that you are currently on our waitlist.
Once you have been contacted by a therapist, you will work together to find an upcoming date and time that works best for your schedules to meet for an intake appointment. After these details have been decided on, you will receive paperwork that you will need to complete prior to this appointment. In order to give enough time for your paperwork to be processed and then reviewed by your therapist, we ask that prospective clients complete this paperwork at least 48 hours before their scheduled appointment. Having this information ahead of time allows the conversation to be streamlined and tailored to your or your children's particular needs. While our intake forms address questions related to insurance and coverage, we also recommend that prospective clients contact their insurance companies prior to your initial meeting.
After your paperwork has been submitted, you can look forward to meeting with your therapist for the intake appointment. This meeting typically lasts about 1 hour and can take place in-person at either the Falls Church or Ashburn office locations or virtually using Zoom. If your child or teen is the one being referred for therapy, we typically ask to meet with the parents and child for the first part of the time. For the second half, the therapist will then meet with the child or teen. The purpose of the meeting is to help you and the therapist get to know one another and to discuss reasons for seeking therapy and outline expectations in a conversational manner. We do not want you to feel like you are being asked a series of unending questions! If meeting with children or teens, the goal is to begin establishing rapport and talking to them in an age appropriate way about what goals they may have and what therapy can look like for them. After the intake is finished, if everyone is in agreement on moving forward, you can schedule ongoing sessions to meet regularly with your therapist.
With our Falls Church location continuing to accept new clients and our Ashburn office opening this month, we hope that this overview of what to expect can help put you at ease if you are considering beginning therapy. Come join us as we enter this new school year and see what our thriving community is all about. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-942-9745.