WHAT TO EXPECT AS A NEW COUNSELING CLIENT

Man Researching St Cloud Counseling Therapy - St Cloud, MN

Man Researching Counseling Therapy in St Cloud, MN

What To Expect When You Work with Richard Chandler, MA, LPC

It is a big step for most people to seek out help for difficulties in their lives. Doing so takes courage. From the first contact by email, text or by calling, to what happens at the beginning of the first session, this page will explain what to expect as a new counseling client of Chandler Counseling & Consulting – St Cloud, MN.

When You Contact Us By Phone, Email or Text

While we answer our phone when not in sessions with clients, you may initially get our voice-mail. We will get back to you as soon as we possibly can. Just leave us your phone number and a brief message. If you can also text us a brief message, perhaps with any questions you might have, we can get back to you with the fastest response time. You may also email us with your questions.

We Offer a Short “No-Cost” Telephone Consultation to Answer Your Questions

Before scheduling a session, many people prefer to have a short, no cost, telephone consult so we both can determine if working together makes sense. We may also discuss whether individual therapy, couples counseling or family therapy would be the best option for you. If it doesn’t look like we will be the best counselors for your situation, we may suggest several counselors who might be a better match for you.

We will answer all of your questions regarding payment for our services. Although we are not part of the insurance system, we do have rates that are reasonable. We also offer a sliding fee scale. We will do our best to accommodate your busy life with flexible scheduling, including offering evening and Saturday times. Although you will see our Google Map, please let us know if you wish clarification on directions to our office.

Woman Considering Counseling Services as a New Client of Richard Chandler, MA, LPC

Woman Considering Counseling Services

We Wish You to Feel Welcome, Relaxed & Calm When Arriving at Chandler Counseling & Consulting – St Cloud, MN

Please park in the parking lot just behind, or on the west side of our building.  If there is no room, we have 2-hour parking on the street, just east of our building. You may enter our building through either the front or the back door. If you have not already filled out your intake information, (which we can email to you), we will have it on one of the chairs in the large reception area. Our intake takes 10 – 15 minutes to fill out.

Our building has two restrooms along the hallway. The one nearest the reception area is for men or women and is handicap accessible. The one closer to the back door is for women. Although we have a drinking fountain, we do our best to have bottled water for you in our office.

Intake Forms Don’t Take Long for New Clients of Chandler Counseling & Consulting to Complete

If not with another client at the time, one of us will come out to greet you. Once you have taken 10 – 15 minutes to fill out our intake form, go to our office, which is across from the chairs in the reception area. There is interior signage to help you locate it. If our office door is not open, it may be that we are finishing up with another client. Please wait for no more than 5 minutes after your scheduled time, then knock on our office door.

What You Can Expect to Happen in Your First Counseling Therapy Session Itself

After meeting you, and having you take a seat, we will overview the basic format of your first session. The typical format is:

  1. We begin by answering any preliminary questions you have before starting the session itself
  2. We review the confidentiality and informed consent agreement. This will take about 2 minutes
  3. Next, I generally devote another 2 minutes to looking over what you wrote on your intake forms. As I do this, I will encourage you to relax, gather your thoughts and have a sip of bottled water that we provide for all of our clients
  4. I will ask you to give me enough background information to understand how your difficulties fit within your life. In marriage therapy and couples counseling, for example, how you first met, how long you dated prior to getting married or cohabiting, any children from previous relationships as well as children you have together are essential to know.
  5. Next, we will talk about the difficulties in your life that that brought you into counseling therapy. This will be what we do for the majority of the session.
  6. At some point, I will suggest some ideas that might be of help in improving those difficulties we have talked about
  7. I will summarize the session and develop a short list of things you can do outside of the therapy session to help improve things
  8. You will be asked if you wish to schedule another session. If so, we will find a mutually convenient time.
  9. We finish with payment, which can be by check or credit card

Because restoring balance and contentment in your life is a process, which may take time, commitment and some financial investment on your part, it is best not to have unrealistic expectations. Also, know that most people do notice their lives improving through counseling.

Thank you for taking the time to read what to expect as a new client of Chandler Counseling & Consulting of St Cloud, MN. I am looking forward to working with you. Richard Chandler, MA, LPC