What to Expect...
Individual and family appointments are generally 50 minutes depending on the issue presented. If recommended, there are Women and Co-ed Recovery Psychotherapy Groups also available. These are offered monthly for one and one-half hours and arranged by appointment.
At the First Appointment with Dr. Shafer...
Among the first questions she will ask you is: What do you want? What made you call a mental health professional at this time in your life? In addition to this, Dr. Shafer will tell you about her training and education in using cognitive, behavioral, and movement therapies. Also, if relevant, she will explain how these work for mood disorders, trauma, relationships, chronic health concerns, and addiction. She will review your family history, and talk with you about what approach (CBT, DBT, EMDR, mental imagery, dreams, stress/anger management) and if individual, group, family or relationship therapy may be best to address what is most important to you at this moment.
It took some time to develop what is going on in your life. Similarly, it may also take time and commitment to the therapy process for change or to experience relief unless the miracle single session therapy happens! Dr. Kathy will discuss how long it may take to make changes happen. For instance, it takes 21 days to change a habit. As a first responder to trauma, accidents, death, and other emergencies, these may require a more direct approach.
Beyond the Therapy Session
The trusting and confidential relationship between a client and therapist is very important. Keeping a log, or calling when you need between sessions, can lead to important insights in therapy. If you are comfortable doing so, bring your writings, or notes to the therapy session. Skype, and phone sessions are also available if you are not local to the Jupiter area or unable to attend in person.
Additionally, it is important to stay committed to your therapy between appointments. Change and insight is not confined to the psychotherapy session. If it is suggested you try something different between appointments, it is important for you to follow through. Tasks can be in the form of writing, behavior change, interactions with others, diet, exercise, recording dreams, and mental imagery. Any concerns or hesitations should be addressed in session, as unsolicited advice or comments from others can be confusing and detrimental to the therapy process.
The time set aside for you is part of your commitment to the therapy process. You are responsible for making, keeping, remembering, and paying for each scheduled appointment (individual/family/group/workshop/yoga therapy). If you know it is not impossible for you to keep an appointment, please provide 24 hour notice in advance BY PHONE as sometimes it is not possible to read emails, and to avoid misunderstandings. The office phone line cannot receive texts. If you fail to cancel with proper notice you will be billed the full fee for the missed appointment (insurance does not pay for missed appointments).
Notably, the individual, family, relationship, group, and yoga therapy fees are established at the first session. For example, this includes establishing co-pays, EAP, authorizations, deductibles and the insurance reimbursement process (if/when available). Insurance companies change their policies without notifying the provider. Please notify the therapist regarding changes in reimbursements and deductibles. Sessions can be done over the phone or through Skype if you are unable to make it for a session in person at the Jupiter office. With emails, texts, and voice mails, please keep messages short, or you will be charged for my time reading/hearing them.