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How to Start Working with A Therapist

Now that you’re considering therapy, it’s essential to understand how to get started on this transformative journey. At My Greensboro Therapist, we believe in providing a thoughtful and personalized approach to therapy. To ensure a positive therapeutic experience, we recommend the following steps:

Step 1: Schedule a Free 15-Minute Phone Call

Before committing to therapy, it’s crucial to establish a connection with your therapist. We offer a free 15-minute phone call with Jennifer Kiszely Ainbinder. This initial conversation allows you to briefly discuss your concerns and get a sense of whether Jennifer is the right fit for you.

Step 2: Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation

Once you’ve decided to move forward, your next step is a psychiatric diagnostic evaluation. This session is more in-depth. During this evaluation, Jennifer will ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of your background, challenges, and goals. This information will help tailor your therapy plan to meet your specific needs.

Step 3: Regular Appointments

After the psychiatric evaluation, you can begin your regular therapy sessions. These sessions are typically scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and last around 55 minutes each. Your therapy plan will be uniquely designed to address your concerns, whether they’re related to anxiety, depression, relationships, or other life challenges.

Common Questions About Therapy

Now, let’s address some common questions you might have about therapy:


    1. Do I Really Need Therapy? Therapy isn’t just for individuals facing severe mental health issues. It’s also a valuable resource for those seeking personal growth, stress management, or assistance with life transitions. If you’re struggling with your thoughts, emotions, relationships, or simply want a space to talk, therapy can help.

    1. How Do I Choose the Right Therapist? Finding the right therapist is essential. You’ll want to connect with someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Start by researching therapists in your area or seeking recommendations from friends and family. Jennifer Kiszely Ainbinder, with over 20 years of experience, is here at My Greensboro Therapist to provide expert guidance and support.

    1. What Can I Expect in My First Therapy Session? Your initial session is typically an opportunity for Jennifer to get to know you better and understand your goals for therapy. It’s also a time for you to ask questions and gauge if you feel comfortable with your therapist.

    1. Is Therapy Confidential? Absolutely. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of therapy. Jennifer is legally bound to protect your privacy, and your information won’t be shared without your explicit consent.

What is a Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation?

A Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation, also known as a psychiatric assessment or intake evaluation, is a comprehensive assessment conducted by a mental health professional, typically a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist, to evaluate and diagnose mental health disorders in an individual seeking therapy or psychiatric treatment. This evaluation is an essential first step in the process of understanding a person’s mental health and developing an appropriate treatment plan.

Here are the key components and purposes of a Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation:


    1. Information Gathering: The evaluation begins with the collection of detailed information about the individual’s mental health history, medical history, current symptoms, and any relevant family history. This information is usually obtained through interviews and questionnaires.

    1. Assessment of Presenting Issues: The therapist assesses the individual’s current mental health symptoms, such as mood disturbances, anxiety, hallucinations, delusions, substance use, sleep disturbances, and any other relevant symptoms. The individual is encouraged to openly discuss their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

    1. Mental Status Examination: During the evaluation, the therapist conducts a mental status examination (MSE) to assess the individual’s cognitive functioning, appearance, behavior, thought processes, thought content, mood, affect, perception, and insight. This helps in understanding the individual’s current mental state.

    1. Diagnostic Assessment: Based on the information gathered, the therapist will use the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5, or the latest edition) to make a formal diagnosis if applicable. The DSM-5 provides a standardized classification system for mental health disorders.

    1. Differential Diagnosis: Sometimes, multiple mental health conditions can have overlapping symptoms. The therapist will carefully consider different diagnostic possibilities (differential diagnosis) to ensure an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the individual’s condition.

    1. Assessment of Functional Impairment: The therapist evaluates how the individual’s mental health symptoms are affecting their daily life, including their relationships, work, school, and overall functioning. This assessment helps determine the severity of the condition.

    1. Risk Assessment: The therapist assesses any potential risk factors, such as self-harm, suicidal ideation, or harm to others. If immediate safety concerns are identified, appropriate interventions are initiated.

    1. Treatment Recommendations: Based on the diagnosis and assessment findings, the therapist formulates treatment recommendations. This may include psychotherapy (talk therapy), medication management, lifestyle changes, or referrals to other specialists or services.

    1. Collaborative Decision-Making: The therapist typically discusses the assessment results and treatment options with the individual, involving them in the decision-making process to create a treatment plan that aligns with their goals and preferences.

    1. Documentation: The findings of the Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation are documented in the individual’s medical or clinical records, which serve as a reference for ongoing treatment and follow-up care.

Taking the First Step

Now that you have a clearer understanding of where to start with therapy, we invite you to take the first step toward a happier, healthier life. Reach out to Jennifer Kiszely Ainbinder at My Greensboro Therapist and begin your journey today.

Jennifer’s warm and compassionate approach, backed by her extensive experience, will provide you with the support and guidance you need to navigate life’s challenges. Don’t hesitate to take that first step towards healing and personal growth. You deserve it.

Starting therapy is an essential decision in your journey toward self-discovery and well-being. At My Greensboro Therapist, we understand the questions and uncertainties that may arise when considering therapy. We hope this guide has provided you with clarity and guidance on where to begin.

Remember, you don’t have to go through this process alone. Jennifer Kiszely Ainbinder, with her compassionate and professional expertise, is here to support you. By scheduling a 15-minute phone call and a comprehensive evaluation, you’re taking proactive steps toward a happier and healthier future.

Don’t wait any longer. Take the first step toward a brighter tomorrow by contacting My Greensboro Therapist today. We’re here to help you on your journey to healing, growth, and a more fulfilling life.