THE COUNSELING PROCESS

1. Intake: The process starts with a call to (716) 632-3200, to set-up an initial appointment. During that call, you will be asked to provide contact information and briefly describe why you want counseling. You will then be matched with a counselor according to the type of treatment needed, expertise, and availability. To utilize our sliding fee, you will need to report your gross annual income (pre-tax income from all sources).

2. Assessment: The first 1-3 appointments with your counselor involve a semi-structured interview, in which the counselor will…
◦ gather information about you, including your medical health, family history, sources of stress, current relationships, and past counseling experiences.
◦ discuss the presenting problem.
◦ assess mental health and diagnostic symptoms, and formulate goals for counseling.
The counselor may also administer written or diagnostic tests to better understand your current state and problems. For marital or couples therapy, both partners are encouraged to attend the first appointment. The counselor may also schedule individual sessions for each to complete the assessment. For family therapy or child-focused therapy, all parents and children are encouraged to attend the first session. The counselor will then determine who should return for future sessions.

3. Counseling: Through a therapeutic relationship, your counselor helps you achieve symptom relief and personal growth, and attain your goals.

4. Termination: Typically, counseling concludes once you reach your counseling goals with an agreement between the counselor and you to end the counseling process and the therapeutic relationship.