Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy: Your First Session

As a practicing psychologist for 35 years now and 15 of them being in Boca Raton, FL, both myself and  most of my clients seem comfortable with the informal setting of my home office which overlooks a lake and trees. I have a solo practice and choose to see a relatively small number of clients as I continue to write self-help books and lecture/consult periodically to colleges, businesses and organizations.

 The first session is an opportunity for us to get to know each other a bit, examine your goals for treatment, get some initial relevant background history and share with you how REBT, cognitive therapy, and other services I provide might fit in to your reaching your goals. 

Depending on how talkative you are, I might initially do most of the listening and guide the direction of the interview with particular questions. If you are less talkative, I will take a more active role and provide you with a number of self-assessment questions as a focus. 

At the end of the first session, which lasts about an hour, if we are on the same page together, I will give you some additional questionnaires for you to complete at home that we will review during your next visit. Early sessions are designed to help us better understand your issues, clarify your goals and provide you with basic tools to improve how you think, feel and act. 

Most clients are usually seen initially once a week for a 45 minute session .Depending on the seriousness of your problems and the sense of urgency you feel in moving forward some clients are seen for doubles sessions or twice a week. 

What you do OUTSIDE of our sessions is extremely important to effectively reaching your goals so HOMEWORK of various kinds will be given for you to complete between sessions. This might include reading an article, listen or watching a tape, practicing a relaxation exercise, writing in a journal, etc. 

In my 35 years of working with a wide variety of people and problems, I have noticed that those clients who comply best with doing THEIR homework make the most progress and are the most satisfied with the treatment and outcome. 

The length of treatment varies with the client and the types, number of and complexity of the presenting problems. Cognitive therapies tend to be relatively short term as they are problem focused and once clients learn various skills, they can apply them to a host on conditions and problems.  

Questions are welcomed and encouraged.

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