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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect at my first appointment?

Your first appointment is considered a diagnostic assessment (sometimes referred to as an intake). During this session clients share their story, answer questions, and by the end of the evaluation, your clinician will offer some initial impressions. At that point, you and your clinician will discuss your treatment goals, create an initial treatment plan, and determine frequency of sessions (usually weekly or every other week). You should evaluate this information and make your own assessment about whether you feel comfortable working with your clinician.

What can I expect from individual therapy?

Sessions are generally about fifty minutes. The outcome of treatment depends to a great extent on willingness to engage in this process, which may, at times, result in considerable discomfort. The process of psychotherapy often includes discussing the unpleasant aspects of your life. Becoming aware of feelings attached to those aspects can bring on strong emotions, such as sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. Therapy often leads to a significant reduction in feelings of distress, increased satisfaction in interpersonal relationships, greater personal awareness and insight, and increased skills for managing stress and resolutions to specific problems. 

What can I expect from family or relational therapy?

Like individual therapy, relational therapy provides a safe environment which you are free to explore thoughts and feelings while learning skills to incorporate into your daily life. The emphasis is on strengthening connection and collaboration, supporting communication and fostering support within relationships. We believe enhancing healthy relationships can improve the well being of the individuals within the family or relational unit. 

I'm a minor. What will you tell my caregivers?

Your clinician will discuss with you and your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) what information is appropriate for them to receive and which issues are more appropriately kept private to help you openly talk with your clinician. Clinicians will not tell your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) specific things shared in private psychotherapy sessions that do not put you at risk of serious or immediate harm. However, if risk-taking behavior becomes more serious, then your clinician will use their professional judgment to decide whether you are in serious and immediate danger or being harmed. If the clinician believes that you are in such danger, they will communicate this information to your parent(s) or legal guardian(s). You can always ask your clinician questions about the types of information they would disclose. You can ask in the form of “hypothetical situations” such as “If someone told you that they were doing ____, would you tell their parents/caregivers?” If the clinician believes there is a safety concern, your clinician will make every effort to notify you of their intention to disclose information ahead of time and make every effort to handle any objections that are raised.

I'm a caregiver. Will I be involved in my youth's care?

Parents/caregivers are very important in children’s lives and progress in therapy, we ask that parents/caregivers check-in with your child’s clinician before or after sessions, unless other arrangements have been made. While privacy in therapy is crucial to successful progress, parental/caregiver involvement can also be essential. Caregivers may be invited to join session as a part of the youth’s care to learn additional ways to support the youth’s needs. Sometimes family therapy with another clinician may be recommended to ensure the youth’s privacy is respected and to offer the family system additional support.

What is SSP?

The Safe and Sound Protocol is a listening therapy developed by the creator of Polyvagal theory. This theory emphasizes the importance of our autonomic nervous system's role in our mental and physical health. SSP involves stimulating the nervous system using specially filtered music. Playlists use familiar music, filtered to enhance the frequencies similar to those of the human voice. This helps improve social connectedness, increase feelings of safety, and enhance emotional regulation. This can support clients with trauma, Autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression and more. 

Read more about Polyvagal theory here.

Learn more about SSP here

What is ART?

ART, also known as Accelerated Resolution Therapy, utilizes eye-movements and imagery to process painful or distressing feelings, thoughts, or experiences. Clinician offers guidance throughout an ART session to provide relief from depression, anxiety, stress, trauma and more. Clients are encouraged to creatively resolve what is holding them back. Our clinicians feel privileged to witness clients’ relief through this transformative therapy approach. To learn more about ART, visit:

How do I know if SSP or ART are right for me?

Both ART and SSP can be powerful interventions for the nervous system and may need to be used with caution with certain individuals. Some clients may be encouraged to talk with a medical provider before engaging in these therapy modalities. For example, individuals may need clearance if they have a heart condition, a seizure disorder, or other significant medical concerns. If you are unsure if a treatment is right for you, your clinician can help navigate any questions you may have. 

What if I have questions about my treatment?

If you have questions about your clinician’s procedures, discuss them whenever they arise. If your doubts persist, your clinician will be happy to help you set up a meeting with another mental health professional for a second opinion.

Why should I choose Willow Pathways?

Our providers believe in providing equitable care while establishing trusting and validating relationships with those we serve. We strive to cultivate a culturally safe environment with dedication to client privacy. Treatment is tailored to the needs of each individual client, integrating various therapeutic approaches with a foundation that is strengths-based and client-centered. We enjoy supporting clients in strengthening wellbeing, navigating barriers and becoming their most authentic, whole selves.  

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