In this article, I detail how I deliver my therapy services so that you can get a good sense of what a therapeutic relationship with me might feel like.
1. Book an Initial Free Consult: First, I welcome you to book a free 15-minute consult. This free chat is for you to sense into whether you feel comfortable to share yourself with me. This is also a chance for me to see if my mode of therapy delivery would be the best fit for you.
2. Prepare for Your Consult: I welcome you to let me know a bit about what you need help with. I also suggest that you read, “How to Prepare for Your Initial Consult.”
3. Sign a Confidentiality Agreement: I will ask you to sign an online confidentiality agreement before you share more with me in a full session. The agreement informs you of your rights in our therapeutic relationship, as well as my ethical responsibilities as your therapist.
4. Write a Self-Assessment: If you decide to carry on with therapy after your initial consult, I will send you a self-assessment via email to fill out and send back to me prior to your first therapy appointment. This is optional but highly recommended so that I can have a good sense of your emotional history before we start.
5. Book a Therapy Start-Up Package: I offer a three-session therapy start-up package for a reduced session fee because it often takes a bit of time to feel comfortable with the therapeutic process. With three start-up phone or video sessions, we will get off to a good start in our connection process.
6. Non-Normative Counselling: Many counsellors are trained to support people to fit better into existing norms. As a non-normative counsellor, I support you to consider how not fitting into your familial, work, religious or societal structures often points to how your unique personhood is both necessary and needed. Loving your “particularity” can help you to design a more fulfilling and innovative life.
7. Gentle and Slow Therapy: You might fear that depth therapy will delve too fast into the hard stuff. This is not so. In each therapy session, we will gently sit together at your growth edge, never pushing you to reveal more than you are ready to. We will always go at your pace, and I will also offer you some insights and challenges within each session as well.
8. Kind Emotional Pacing: The most popular counselling methods today are brief, cognitive/behavioural, solution-focused therapies with big change/results expected within 4 to 6 sessions. While this is effective for some people, 4 to 6 sessions do not make space for the deeper unravelling of emotional pain that has accumulated over a lifetime. Within a Depth Therapy process, a longer therapeutic relationship allows you to kindly pace your emotional work so that you do not feel pressured to change before you feel ready to.
9. Love-Based Therapy: Since most of our emotional pain comes from hurt, shocked, ashamed and fearful parts of self, bringing gentleness, awareness, love and even humour into the therapy process is often relieving, fulfilling, fun and enlightening.
10. Parts Work: Fractured, fearful aspects of self have distinct personality structures that you can come to recognize, accept, balance and integrate into the greater workings of your psychology. Awareness and integration of your inner parts can involve dream recall, expressive art and writing, or simply recognizing the repeating patterns in your daily life. Read my article "Inner Family Systems Therapy" for more information.
11. Duration of Therapy: You are welcome to meet with me as much or as little as feels right for you. Some people prefer to meet weekly, and they show up to therapy sessions whether they feel resistance or not. Others prefer to do some deep inner work for a while and take intuitive breaks until their inner discoveries feel more integrated. Some seek long-term semi-regular therapy as an ongoing self-care practice, meeting once a month. Some people, after a deeper duration of therapy, might choose to connect in a few times a year for many years thereafter.
12. Listening to You Deeply: In our therapeutic relationship, I aim to listen to you very deeply during our hour together. Together, we will sense into your current growth edge, and discuss what your next developmental step could be.
13. Expressive Art: If you would like to do some short expressive art or writing exercises in your therapy session, I am happy to facilitate this for you in a way that is different from art therapy. Typically, an art therapist would facilitate art-making for most of your session and talk about what you have created near the end of your session. The sessions that I offer are different from an art therapy session. I facilitate short spontaneous exercises to spark a deeper therapeutic conversation using methods to tap into your deeper unconscious mind.
14. Creative Homework: You can set your own growth practices between sessions, or I can offer suggestions. I welcome you to do creative homework between sessions to deepen your understanding of yourself. You are welcome to send me a consolidated Word doc or an email that details your dreams, written observations and expressive art prior to each session.
Therapy homework is optional, however, the more efforts you make to clarify your inner world - on your own between sessions - the deeper your experience of therapy will be. I have created many creative worksheets and self-led courses that can further your emotional healing process between sessions. See Shelley Klammer Courses for more inner growth ideas.
15. The Relief of Honesty: Therapy does not have to be a hard slog through endless emotional mire. People who spend time with me in therapy often express how enlightening regular therapy can be. Some people come to counselling because they do not have friends, partners or family members who can see, hear and reflect them in deep, kind or loving ways. In order to heal emotionally, it is tremendously helpful to be lovingly witnessed in places where you do not feel welcome to openly share with others.
Welcoming All of You
No part of you is unwelcome in our therapy space. Every aspect of you has a good reason for existing, and often, it just takes a dedicated period of deep, loving witnessing for emotional pain to unravel and release. If you feel like what I have expressed above is a good fit for you, I welcome you to book a free initial consult.