How can I make an appointment?
What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
After scheduling your first appointment, you will be emailed a link to complete the initial intake forms online. However, if it is easier, please visit our What to Expect page to download and complete the intake forms at home. Please bring the completed forms to your initial appointment. If you happen to forget these forms, no worries, a blank copy will be available to complete at the beginning of your first appointment.
If parents are divorced, please bring a copy of the legal documentation stating legal and physical custody over the child to your initial appointment.
If my child is receiving therapy, do I have to attend each session?
Parents/Guardians are required at the first session. This session is an opportunity to discuss presenting concerns, goals for therapy, and answer any additional questions you may have. You may be included in the entire session, or you may be included for the first 15-20 minutes. During this session, your ongoing participation will be discussed. While parents are not typically included in every weekly appointment, FTCB does strongly value parent involvement and will likely encourage at least monthly participation.
What can I expect from therapy at FTCB?
All sessions occur in person at the office in Bethesda, Maryland. During the first appointment, FTCB policies and procedures will be reviewed and you will have the opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have. The remainder of the first session is usually an opportunity for you to share about yourself and what is bringing you to therapy. It is also an opportunity for you to get to know your therapist a little bit in order to determine whether the relationship is a good fit. Therapy is a very personal journey and it is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist and feel that they will be able to support you in reaching your goals.
If after the first session, you wish to continue, you will discuss with your therapist the frequency of ongoing appointments. It is typically recommended that you have weekly 50-minute appointments to begin. Once goals are established and progress is being made, it is possible to move to biweekly and/or monthly appointments. FTCB also recognizes that therapy can be a financial strain for some individuals and families, in which case biweekly and monthly appointments are an option to start.
As mentioned above, therapy is a very personal journey and your involvement in your own therapy is strongly valued. Please know that you are always able to communicate your needs and/or concerns to your therapist. It is our goal to help you reach your goals in a way that best first who you are so that you are able to sustain progress long after therapy ends.
What is Marriage & Family Therapy?
In marriage and family therapy, the unit of treatment isn’t just the person – even if only a single person is present during appointments – it is the set of relationships in which the person is imbedded. Therefore, marriage and family therapy takes a holistic perspective to treatment and is concerned with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families. Marriage and family therapy is brief, solution focused, and specific with attainable goals. Research indicates that marriage and family therapy is as effective, and in some ways more effective than standard and/or other individual treatments. Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are trained in psychotherapy and family systems and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples, and family systems. MFTs treat a variety of clinical issues including but not limited to depression, relationship problems, anxiety, child-parent problems, and grief and loss.
What should I look for in a therapist?
Most people don’t know what to expect of a competent marriage and family therapist. Here are some qualities and actions that researchers have found to promote effective treatment.
- The therapist is caring and compassionate to all participating members.
- The therapist challenges each of you about your contributions to the problems and about your capacity to make individual changes to resolve the problem.
- The therapist is active in structuring the session.
- The therapist offers specific strategies for changing your relationship, and coaches you on how to use them.
- The therapist is alert to individual matters such as depression, alcoholism, and medical illness that might be influencing your problems.
- The therapist does not take sides
- The therapist does not permit you and your partner or family member to engage in repeated angry exchanges during sessions.
- Although family of origin backgrounds may be assessed to understand their influences on current problems, the focus is on how to deal with current issues.
- The therapist does not assume there are certain ways that men and women should behave according to their gender in relationships.