What is the difference between a therapy consultation and initial intake assessment session?

To begin, keep in mind that an initial consultation appointment with a therapist can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the therapy practice and therapist style.

An initial consultation is for a new client who wishes to meet with a qualified licensed therapist to discuss current issues and/or concerns, as well as to discuss strategies and goals for therapy and/or a treatment plan. During this consultation, a therapist will ask some important necessary questions, and provide you with the therapist orientation, focus and expectations.

The goal of a therapy consultation is to ensure that we are a good fit. So, in essence, you decide whether or not you would be comfortable working together. You should have a good sense of whether or not you are at ease in the office, remotely, with me, and with our conversation.Though you won't know or trust me yet, you'll have a sense of whether or not you can see yourself in sessions freely speaking with me about things that are important and challenging for you. Because finding the right therapist is critical, I always provide initial consultations before we agree to work together.

What happens after the consultation appointment?

You will have two days following the consultation appointment to decide whether or not to proceed. If this is the case, you will schedule an Intake Assessment appointment through the client portal.

A Intake Assessment is essentially a diagnostic assessment appointment in which a therapist gathers essential information from the client and uses assessment tools and/or questionnaires to determine whether or not a client meets a medical diagnostic criteria, especially if the client is using health insurance, which requires clients to meet the medical criteria.

Your concerns, issues, and reasons for seeking therapy must be medically necessary in order to be billable through insurance. Once this is established, I generally share the medical diagnosis with clients (you have the option to decline knowing diagnosis) and proceed to schedule ongoing consistent sessions.

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