Know What to Expect at Our Helping Behavioral Health Center in Park Ridge, IL
What can I expect on my first visit and beyond?
The first one to three meetings are considered an assessment. Part of your treatment plan will include sitting down with your psychologist and providing information about the problems/symptoms. Questions about the nature and duration of symptoms, etc. will be discussed. A medical and family history will be taken in order to better understand heredity and environmental variables. A developmental history including medical, social, and academic variables will be important for us to understand the nature of the problem for children and adolescents. Parents will be present for meetings with minor children.
Psychological testing may be indicated in certain situations in order to help us gather important information which may not otherwise be known. If this is the case, we will discuss the purpose and nature of the testing, and how we expect you will benefit from the results. For example, many symptoms of anxiety and attention deficit disorder are similar. Psychological testing can be a tool to help us understand how you process information. This knowledge will be important in your treatment plan.
You and your psychologist will target some symptoms/problems and develop a treatment plan focused on symptom reduction/problem improvement. If you want to use your medical insurance company for reimbursement, they may have their own rules about length of treatment.
The psychologist is trained to use a number of techniques, depending on the symptoms/problems in order to gain the most symptom reduction. You will want to participate in making changes outside of the sessions in order to achieve the most benefit.
It is important to be an active participant, expressing your fears, worries, concerns, etc., even if the feelings are awkward or feel mixed. Failure to do so sometimes leaves us feeling ambivalent about change, but also stuck in the same old rut, feeling angry at ourselves. We can help if you remain involved and committed to the process. Maintaining appointments and participating in payments is validation that you are doing this for you.
Many people will notice improvement in symptoms and functioning within a few treatment sessions. You will be asked about your progress in each session. It is a misnomer that psychotherapy takes years for symptom reduction. Although each person and their set of problems are unique, the national average number of treatment sessions to resolve symptoms is approximately 11 sessions.* We will work with you based on your treatment plan and progress to decide what is right for you.
*(American Psychological Association)