You've made the important decision to start therapy.
Welcome to the cool kids club!
You have a few therapists that you found by searching online and a few more that someone you know recommended. But how will you know which therapist is going to be the best fit for you? There are many factors that play into how to find the right therapist (which I will be addressing in more detail in the near future). In the spirit of preventing overwhelm when you are probably mentally taxed in the first place, this article will solely focus on ways to help you get the most out of an initial consultation call
A consultation call is a phone conversation that you have with a therapist to explore if working together is a good fit. You can choose a therapist that has a sparkling resume but if you don't vibe well with them or the scheduling doesn't line up, then it can feel like it is all for not.
Your time and energy are important. I aim to help you work smarter, not harder in these initial stages of deciding which therapist is right for you.
Every therapist in private practice runs their business differently, so there is no one uniform way across the board. Some may offer free 10-20 minute calls, some may charge a fee for an initial call, and others may not offer calls and the first therapy appointment becomes the time when you explore if you want to work together. These practices vary from place to place because each business has its own unique philosophies, structure, financial plans, and individuals running the show.
If you are in the process of finding the right therapist and have an upcoming consultation call scheduled, here are a few foundational insider tips from a licensed therapist who does consultation calls and an EMDR consultant and business owner who has coached many therapists in private practice about how to build a value-aligned business (with or without consultation calls).
Currently, my CT-based private practice Wilcox Wellness, LLC offers two options for getting started in therapy:
1) A scheduled and paid 45-minute phone consultation call that focus on exploring if intensive EMDR therapy is the next best step for you (this is not therapy);
2) A scheduled and paid in-person or virtual therapy intake session ranging from 1-2 hours that allows for a comprehensive assessment and starts the therapeutic relationship right away.
For now, I will break down the 5 W's primarily related to the Wilcox Wellness Method 45-minute phone consultation calls for prospective intensive EMDR therapy clients and also for the general public to support your quest. (If you desire, get on our non-spammy mailing list to get updates on future information and tips related to intake appointments and more.)
A Wilcox Wellness, LLC a 45-minute consultation call begins with you reaching out to us via email at email@example.com or calling (860) 266-6098. You will get a response within the same business day to schedule your call with me, Erica Wilcox, LPC. I am the Founder of Wilcox Wellness, LLC and specialize in intensive EMDR therapy for trauma recovery and performance enhancement. I am also an EMDR International Consultant and help other EMDR therapists learn the ropes through clinical education and leadership.
If you are already working with a therapist and that therapist is recommending EMDR, please share this with me when you reach out. I value other therapist's input and your relationship with them. We will explore what doing "adjunctive" EMDR therapy can look it. Adjunctive EMDR therapy is when a client still sees their primary therapist (not trained in EMDR but obviously pretty awesome and real because they have you as a client) and "adds-on" EMDR for a specific period of time to help that client move past stuck points that are arising in their work with their primary therapist. It is a team effort and wildly helpful. Once EMDR is complete, the client remains with their primary therapist as needed and desired.
In other practices , you may want to ask if a consultation call is with an intake coordinator (an administrative professional) or with the prospective therapist themselves. You will also want to know how long calls are, if they are free or not, and what to expect during these types of calls. These are all great and valid questions to ask if you can't find this information on their website first.
Most therapists, like me, are happy to collaborate with a referring therapist. If you are referred by your primary therapist it can be helpful for me to speak with them about your care. If applicable, you can authorize this with a signed consent form that I will send you.
At Wilcox Wellness, LLC the consultation call itself is the time for you to share in more detail your reasons for and before seeking actual therapy. I will ask you a few simple questions about where you have been, where you are at now, and where you want to go in your life to support an informed recommendation that supports intensive EMDR therapy or not. I will share the potential risks, benefits, and estimated time and money investment of intensive EMDR so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
If I determine that intensive EMDR therapy is appropriate for you I will provide more information about what to expect and how working together may look and feel, including scheduling and planning your self-led retreat experience if you are traveling from out of state and/or are scheduling a multi-day intensive. I will answer other questions that you may have with the time that we have as well. If we agree to work together, then I will share the next steps in this process and we will get the ball rolling! If intensive EMDR is not recommended, I will share the reasons why and additional resources that you can follow up on if you choose.
Keep a notepad and pen with you during your call to write down important information that is shared.
Before your call, write down your specific questions that you need answered and don't want to forget to ask. This can help organize your thoughts and be a place to reference later in case you forget some of what we spoke about.
If not answered already (or found on a website), some good questions to ask any prospective therapist are:
How long have you been practicing EMDR therapy and what areas do you have advanced training?
How much experience do you have working with people who have similar problems to mine?
How do you take care of yourself as a therapist so you don't burn out?
What is feedback you have received about your work as a therapist?
What are your rates and scheduling policies?
What makes me a good candidate for EMDR therapy and why would you want to work with me as a client?
What are the risks and benefits of EMDR therapy?
What is your availability?
What are realistic goals for this type of therapy?
Wilcox Wellness, LLC generally schedules multi-day EMDR intensives 1-4 months in advance. For intensives that are a series of 2-hour to 1/2 days at a time, this timeframe can vary. Keep in mind your availability for future therapy when you have your consultation call. Especially if you you are seeking to attend a multiday intensive, the consultation call is the first step to getting in the schedule for therapy so it is best to have the call sooner versus waiting until it gets closer to when you visualize yourself actually doing it. There is no time like the present.
Before your call, I highly recommend spending some time on our website reading about intensives, EMDR therapy, the various ways how we help and our practice rates/policies. I am honored and excited to answer your questions and discuss these topics in more detail during our 45-minutes together and could talk about EMDR and my love for helping people heal all the live long day! To maximize our time together, you will find that many of your initial questions are freely available and answered on my website and within other articles and free resources that I have posted. If you have the energy and concentration to read up beforehand, this will allow us to use our time as efficiently as possible. If you don't have this energetic availability, this is absolutely OK too and we will cover as much as we can during our call. (For the neurodiverse and/or auditory/visual learners who are still with me and reading this, I plan to post a video series going over all of this soon!)
If you work full-time, come in knowing what your PTO or ability to take some time off/flex your schedule is. If you become a client of Wilcox Wellness, LLC for intensive therapy, we will customize your plan and schedule, which often includes rearranging your work schedule for a brief period of time. If you require documentation from your employer for medically excused absence, let us know so we can work to support you with this. We do offer a limited amount of weekend EMDR intensives throughout the year to accommodate individuals who would not have access to this type of therapy otherwise.
Keep in mind any important events, holidays, or obligations that you have coming up. This will be important to consider if we move forward with onboarding you as an intensive EMDR therapy client at Wilcox Wellness, LLC.
Plan your call during a time when you are free from distractions and a lot of outside noise. This can be in a private office with the door closed on your lunch break, in a safely parked car before you transition from one place to another, sitting cozy in your favorite chair with a warm blanket and a cup of tea. Please do not schedule calls while driving, multi-tasking, or without privacy.
You are able to call from anywhere in the world but all calls will be scheduled in Eastern Standard Time. The time is reserved especially for you. Knowing that for many, time is of the essence, I will always do my best to schedule your call ASAP at a time that mutually aligns and usually within the same week. If you decide to become a client of Wilcox Wellness, LLC all therapy services are conducted while you are located in CT either online or in person at our office in East Hampton, CT.
Consult calls are like attending an open house for a University before you decide you want to attend. You want to get the lay of the land and see if you can see yourself in that space and feel good about the course of study (in this case, next level healing!) before you make any further investments. Consult calls are non-committal at Wilcox Wellness, LLC and you are under no obligation to move forward with intensive EMDR therapy even if you are informed that this type of therapy would be appropriate for you. If you need some time to decide to move forward, I am generally able to "hold" space open for you for up to 72 hours after our call and this is something we can discuss. Consult calls are to go over the main bullet points and not the fine print of your circumstance. Fine print details and healing happen in therapy at a pace and process that meets your unique needs.
There is a good chance that the things you have experienced in your past or are happening right now that bother you did not involve your well informed consent or input. Consultation calls are the opportunity for you to be in charge of your healing and see if your therapist passes the "vibe-check".
Mantras for Consult Calls: "I am open and curious", "I deserve care and attention", "I am proud of myself", "I trust my intuition", "I invest in my wellbeing."
Celebrate that you are making the time for yourself by scheduling a consultation call. It is important and should not go unrecognized.
If you are a person who is interested in intensive EMDR therapy with Wilcox Wellness, LLC please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your consultation call or initial therapy appointment.
If you are an EMDR therapist seeking clinical consultation and/or business coaching on how to create and offer EMDR intensives, please email Erica at email@example.com to schedule an individual or group consultation.
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