Welcome

Welcome to the web site of Aracoma Smith, LCSW.

I appreciate the opportunity to be of help to you and hope this web site will provide information useful in making an informed decision concerning my services. Therapy is a large commitment of time, money, and energy. I believe you should be comfortable with the therapist you choose. I also believe we can work most productively together when we are clear with each other about roles and expectations. Please read this web site carefully so that we can discuss any questions you may have. At our first session I will ask for you to sign a sheet recognizing that you have done so.

What to expect in psychotherapy

Therapy is not like visiting a medical doctor in that it requires your very active involvement and efforts to change your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Therapy involves learning to understand yourself better, to make decisions about relationships, parenting, careers, personal lifestyles, etc., to develop skills, like communication, stress management, or assertiveness; to deal with feelings, like fear, love depression, anxiety, anger; and to solve problems and deal with painful life situations, both past and present.

I view therapy as a collaborative effort. You are expected to be as open and honest as possible in identifying the concerns that bring you to therapy and committed to work on these concerns. I will act as a consultant with specialized knowledge and training to assist you in making the desired changes. By the end of the first or second session I will be able to offer you my initial impressions and verbal treatment plan, which can change somewhat as we progress in treatment. You will then be able to make the best treatment decisions, in you own best interest. If at any time you wish to consult with another therapist, I will assist you with a referral.

Psychotherapy may be tremendously beneficial for some individuals while, at the same time, there are some risks. The risks may include the experience of intense and unwanted feelings, including sadness, anger, fear, guilt, or anxiety. It is important to remember that these feelings may be natural and normal and are an important part of the therapy process. Other risks of therapy might include: recalling unpleasant life events, facing unpleasant thoughts and beliefs, increased awareness of feelings, values, experiences, and alterations of an individuals ability to desire to deal effectively and harmoniously with other in relationships. In therapy, major life decisions are sometimes made involving families, career, and lifestyle. These decisions are a legitimate outcome of the therapy experience as a result of calling in to question your beliefs and values. As your therapist, I will be available to discuss these aspects of our work together.
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