Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Department of Psychology
What is it like to be a client?
Therapy is a collaborative process. Unlike what often happens when a person visits a physician or a dentist who diagnoses the problem and assigns a treatment procedure, therapy is a mutual process in which the client and therapist work together to assist the client to use his/her abilities to deal more effectively with the concerns that the client brings. It should be noted that change in therapy takes time and effort on the part of the client as well as the therapist.
If you choose to become a client
- When inquiring about services you will be asked basic information (e.g., a contact phone number, description of the problem, etc.).
- If an appointment can be arranged with a therapist who has the expertise to assist you with your particular problem, you will be contacted and informed of the therapist's available times.
- Sessions are typically scheduled for once a week, although the actual frequency is decided by you and your therapist.
- During sessions the therapist invites you to discuss your concerns that have led you to seek assistance.
- The therapist may ask questions to assist you in giving a full description of the issues you are struggling with.
- The therapist may inquire about your personal understanding of some situations, ask you about emotional responses, or about particular hopes and fears.
- The process of internal exploration inherent in therapy may arouse feelings such as hurt, fear or anger that can be difficult to deal with. The emergence of these feelings is a typical aspect of the therapy process.
- When special activities or exercises may be useful in therapy, you and your therapist will discuss them and mutually decide whether they should be used.
- If such activities are used, you and your therapist will review what was achieved and discuss what steps should be taken next.
- Change usually happens in small steps and is not easy to recognize at first.
- Changes that you accomplish affect not only yourself but others around you.
- To get the most out of therapy, you should be active and open in sharing your thoughts and feelings.
- It is quite important that you express to your therapist any concerns or dissatisfactions that you may have about therapy.