What to expect at your first appointment

First Appointment
Your first appointment is an initial evaluation that focuses on what your concerns are and why you were referred.  The evaluation takes about an hour and a half to three hours and might occur over one to two visits on average.  During the intake an interview will occur with questions to assist in gaining understanding of your history and your concerns and symptoms as well as those things that typify your strengths and resilience. At the conclusion of the intake your provider will discuss a diagnosis and treatment recommendations.  At this time if your needs can be met by your provider we may agree to enter into a therapeutic relationship.  If your needs are beyond the scope of our services or you feel a referral would be preferred we will assist you in finding other mental health care professionals or providers to meet your needs.

Once there is an agreement to establish care with us we will work to formulate goals and a plan of care together.  Typically that plan will involve medication management.  We will discuss the risks and benefits, potential side effects and alternative treatment recommendations.

If you are prescribed medications it is imperative that you follow up.  Successful outcomes with psychiatric medication rely on taking the medication as directed and regularly monitoring.  In some instances it is simply not safe to continue taking medication without monitoring.

PREPARING for a first appointment
Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete necessary paperwork if not already completed.  More time will be needed if you have not completed the history form provided in advance.

If you have completed the history form (located here) this will allow more time for communication during the appointment. Be prepared to maximize the time available to address your concerns.  Try to prioritize your concerns and what you want to achieve.  What symptoms or problems do you want to see decreased or go away? What quality of life have you been missing that you want back?

During your visit be prepared to ask questions.  Most people do have questions about the type of help they are getting, what the long-term benefits are and what to expect to happen in their own lives while and after receiving treatment.  Ask these questions or others that you may have.  This open line of communications will help you.

Be prepared with a listing of your current medication and all past medications to include their names, doses, frequency taken, dates used, benefits, side effects or allergic reactions.

Finally, you should review and sign our policies, privacy practices and client agreement packet and bring this to your appointment (located here).