Welcome Kiley Remington

Welcome Kiley Remington

The Cedar Rapids Relationship Center is excited to announce the addition of a graduate student from Mount Mercy University to our office.  Kiley is currently in her final year of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program.  She will be working out of our office to gain experience providing therapy for clients.  She will be working under the supervision of Jennifer Gage at our office while also receiving supervision through her professor at Mount Mercy.

This is a great opportunity for those in our community who do not have mental health insurance or would prefer not to go through it.  Kiley will be seeing clients for the flat fee of $10 a session.  If this is something you are interested in, do not hesitate to contact her and set up a time to come in.

Q: What does the first meeting look like?

Q:  What does the first meeting look like?

After doing therapy for awhile you start to notice a trend in the questions and the concerns that clients have before therapy even starts.   I am hoping to address some of those here.

Q:  What does the first meeting look like?

Knowing what to expect when you walk into a new situation can be helpful and reduce anxiety. Every therapist has their own way of doing an initial session.  There are some common elements that you will see at most therapy offices.  I have outlined the structure we follow at our office.

  1. Paperwork: Therapists are required to maintain a certain level of medical records. To help them to do this they will have “initial client paperwork” to have you fill out. At our office, our forms include the following forms. First is the Client Information Form, which provides basic contact information and helps us to bill your insurance. The next form is An Informed Consent Form.  Here we have outlined our office policies and included all of the disclosures needed to begin therapy.  The final form is an Assessment Form.  This form allows us to collect some background information and helps us to understand all of the factors impacting your life.  We will then make a copy of your insurance card to be included with the other forms.  One thing to remember is that even when you come in for couple sessions this paperwork will need to be filled out. Usually an Assessment Form is filled out for both partners. The information for only needs to be filled out for one of the partners and there is a place on the consent form for both parties to sign.  You can access our forms here.
  1. Meeting the therapist: Now that you have the paperwork filled out, it is time to come into my office and meet me. Here you find a place to sit where you are comfortable and then I introduce myself.  One of the most important parts of therapy is being able to connect with your therapist.  Part of the first session is getting to know the office and the therapist.  You being able to feel comfortable there is very important.
  1. Office Policies: At this point of the initial session I cover some of the office policies that were outlined in the informed consent forms.  An example of one that I talk over with all my clients is the idea of confidentiality.  I feel it is essential for clients to understand what they say is confidential and where the limits are.  I also answer any questions regarding insurance or fees. I encourage my clients to ask me questions and I do my best to answer them.
  1. You tell your story: After all of the office stuff is taken care of and any questions are answered, I turn it over to you. Sometimes people don’t know where to start.  I usually help by asking “what has led you here to my office.”  While you are telling your story I will ask some questions to get clarification where I need.  I also take notes so I don’t lose any of the details.
  1. Goals: The final part of the initial session is to help you identify what you want/need to change. This can help us determine goals for our sessions and give us direction moving forward.
  1. Scheduling: We end by scheduling our next session and settling any co pays or fees.

Sometimes clients struggle with the initial session because the main purpose of it is to learn what is going on in your life and what has led you there.  Because of this, we don’t get to the “working phases” of the session.  Clients sometimes report that they feel like they have just talked and haven’t fixed anything.  The second appointment will feel more collaborative than the first.  Time is an important piece of therapy.

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“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”

Everyone that read that line knew exactly how it was supposed to end. Unfortunately this “ideal” is often not reality. Many grow up with this dream for their future. Find a partner who you choose to spend the rest of your life with, marry and eventually have children. In couples struggling with infertility, this dream can seem more like a reminder of how others have it so much easier than they do. Dreams have a way of motivating us at times but also give us a sense of being stuck when we struggle to bring them into reality.

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Forget the flu. Did you catch the Divorce Bug?

Imagine this.  Your best friend comes over to tell you that she and her husband are getting a divorce.  You are shocked.  You knew they had some problems, but they always seemed to work through them.  They seemed so happy last week. You probably spend time listening and consoling your friend, but maybe you should be avoiding her?  Are you going to catch the divorce bug from her?  What will this do to your relationship?

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It feels like things have reached a breaking point in your relationship.  It isn’t just your typical marital fights anymore.  You need to do something different, now. There may be a time in your relationship that you hit that wall. This is usually when a couple (or family) will decide that it is time to involve a professional.  Sometimes they have connections and can get a personal referral, but other times they end up on the internet, consulting everyone’s best friend, Google.

Looking for a therapist or counselor can become overwhelming, especially with the variety of licenses and degrees out there.  When deciding whether to see a marriage and family therapist (LMFT), psychologist, mental health counselor (LMHC), or social worker (LISW), it is difficult to know if they will be a good fit.  While personality is always an important piece, that isn’t something you can assess before meeting with the therapist. One area that you can look at beforehand is at the therapist’s qualifications and license.

First consideration what type of therapy you are seeking.  While individual therapy is the stereotypical route in many mental health fields, the research has shown couple/family therapy to be an effective treatment option for a variety of symptoms and disorders.  For many issues, it has even become the preferred method of treatment. As the need for this type of therapy increases so does the concern of the amount of training mental health professionals have in this unique type of therapy.

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Psychotherapy is a tool that many people find beneficial at some point in their life. The research is there to show its effectiveness in treating many of life’s problems. Sometimes a person struggles with knowing if they are experiencing a little struggle, or if it is something serious enough to seek help from a professional.  Most people who come into our offices are not “crazy”.  They just need a little extra help finding their way or managing life circumstances.  Therapists can help with a variety of things, including, grief, trauma, anger, eating disorders, parenting issues, relationship challenges, and a variety of mental health concerns.  So how do you know when things are serious enough to seek out therapy?  Here are five signs that seeing a therapist may be a good idea:

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