Marriage Counselling with an LCSW: Typical Start
Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) are trained in a variety of therapies and counseling techniques. Although the process can vary based on the LCSW's style and the couple's specific needs, the following steps provide a general outline:
1. Initial Contact and Scheduling
The couple typically initiates contact with the LCSW, often after receiving a referral or doing their own research. The initial appointment is then scheduled.
2. First Session - Introductions and Assessments
The LCSW uses the first session to get to know the couple and understand their reasons for seeking counseling. Topics discussed may include:
- Individual backgrounds and relationship histories
- The history of the couple's relationship
- Attempts the couple has made to address their issues
- The couple's goals for therapy
3. Evaluation and Treatment Planning
After gathering initial information, the LCSW typically creates a treatment plan, which might include:
- Identifying the main issues to address
- Setting goals for therapy
- Discussing the preferred therapy approach
- Discussing logistics such as session frequency and length, cancellation policy, and fees
4. Homework Assignment
LCSWs often assign "homework" for couples to work on between sessions. This could involve practicing a communication strategy, journaling, or trying to break a negative behavior pattern.
The LCSW will explain that everything discussed in therapy is confidential, with certain exceptions related to safety and legal requirements.