Therapy Services from Merle Saber
I offer psychotherapy services for children, adolescents, and adults. My therapy practice includes working with individuals, families, and couples counseling. Child and adolescent psychotherapy focuses on child development, parent-child relationships, childhood trauma, and parenting approaches for interacting with challenging children and teens, including the use of play and expressive art therapy techniques.
Please read the following sections to get a sense of my approach to psychotherapy:
- What to expect in our first session together
- Understanding the process of therapy
- A note to parents with children in therapy
In family therapy the focus is on relieving family stress, coping with mental illness and addiction in families, empty nest issues, and improving communication and relationships within the family unit.
I help clients find relief from anxiety, depression, grief and loss, emotional pain, low self-esteem, stress, living with a chronic or life threatening illness, life transitions, substance abuse issues, and balancing life and career.
I help couples improve, or build on, effective communication skills, rebuild trust in relationships due to affairs, and how to heal after divorce/seperations and broken relationships.
I look forward to helping you on your path to healing.
What to expect in our first session together
The first therapy session is an opportunity for me to get to know you better, and get a sense of why you are seeking therapy at this time. I will talk about confidentiality, exceptions to confidentiality, how your medical records are protected, and my office policies. I will tell you about my therapy style and preferred theoretical orientations. I will inform you of my professional background, how therapy is structured, and what you can expect from the therapy process. The first session is an opportunity for my patients to ask questions and express any concerns – a process that continues throughout the course of treatment.
Our first few sessions will focus on an evaluation of your needs. By the end of this time, I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work together will include, and we will formulate treatment goals together.
Therapy involves a commitment of time, money and energy. If you have questions about the process, we can discuss them whenever they arise. I schedule therapy sessions for 45 to 50-minutes per session per week at a time we can agree on, although some sessions may be longer and more frequent. I encourage a regular ongoing appointment time for the best results. I will do my best to make an appointment time that works for both of our schedules.
I welcome telephone calls from patients between therapy sessions as needed. I am not always immediately available, however, I monitor my voicemail frequently and will get back to you within 24 hours. My voicemail message has emergency contact information in case of a psychiatric emergency. If a phone call is longer than 15 minutes, or the issue you are calling me about would be better discussed in person, I will schedule an appointment for you to come in to my office as soon as possible.
The Therapy Process
Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the psychotherapist and patient, and the particular challenges you are experiencing. I draw from different theoretical orientations depending on the issues you hope to address. I believe the psychotherapist/patient relationship is of utmost importance in helping with the healing process.
I provide a safe, confidential, patient-centered, and non-judgmental space which allows you to be vulnerable and encourages expression of your thoughts and feelings. Psychotherapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will need to work on things we talk about both during our sessions and at home.
Psychotherapy has benefits and risks. Since therapy often involves discussing challenging aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness and helplessness. Therefore, sometimes people get worse before they get better. However, psychotherapy has been shown to have many benefits. Therapy often leads to better relationships, provides solutions to specific problems, improves communication skills, and relieves emotional pain.
A Note For Parents
Children of any age have a right to independently consent to, and receive mental health treatment without parental consent. And in that situation information about that treatment can not be disclosed without your child's consent. While privacy in psychotherapy is very important, particularly with teenagers, parental involvement is also essential to successful treatment and this may require some private information be shared with parents.
For parents with children under 18, I share general information about their child's progress in treatment, and his/her attendance at scheduled sessions. Any other communication will require the child's authorization, unless I feel the child is in danger or is a danger to someone else, in which case I will notify the parents of my concern. Before giving parents any information, I will discuss the matter with the child, if possible, and do my best to handle any objections they may have.
Family Therapy Sessions
When working with children and adolescents I occasionally require family therapy sessions, with the child's consent, to ensure the support of the parents and a continuation of the therapy work at home.
- Related article: How to tell if your child needs emotional help