GEORGE A. ZEO, PSY.D.
You can expect that in the initial consultation, we will discuss what you believe is the general reason for seeking treatment, and we will identify beginning goals for your therapy. These goals represent a starting point to be revisited along the course of treatment. Initial goals do not need to reflect exactly how you expect to benefit from treatment. Some individuals have a difficult time in the first session putting into words what they hope to accomplish in therapy. Often times, people gain a greater sense of their goals for treatment once they enter the flow of therapy and have a bit of time to think between sessions about the areas in which they struggle.
It is quite frequent that in the first session an individual will report a feeling such as sadness or anxiety, and can identify the settings in which these feelings are experienced most often and with the greatest intensity. You can expect to be asked general questions about the presenting problem, recent events that may be contributing to emotional distress, aspects of your current support system, and any current or prior efforts to self-help. The goal is for you to leave the first session with a general understanding of the treatment process and a sense that you and your therapist will be collaborating to help relieve emotional or psychological discomfort.
The decision to pursue psychotherapy can be stressful for many people. People who contact me are at various stages of readiness to begin therapy, and I am committed to gently guiding my patients toward a place of relief from emotional distress and an enhanced sense of well-being.
As a psychologist, I focus on personality qualities, internalized images, habits, and beliefs that promote resilience. I pay very close attention to utilizing personal strengths to compensate for vulnerabilities, and I help patients to position themselves in a way that maximizes opportunities for growth and self-actualization.
Psychotherapy is an active process for both client and therapist. The most important predictor of success in psychotherapy is the establishment of a solid working relationship that offers the patient the freedom and safety to talk about experiences and beliefs that may have been previously avoided, unresolved, or considered uncomfortable as a topic to discuss with spouses, friends, boyfriends/girlfriends or family.
As a psychologist, I am committed to creating a discrete, empathic, safe, and highly confidential “holding environment” that offers my patients an opportunity to work on reducing emotional distress and make better personal choices. I am highly dedicated to providing my patients with a comfortable, supportive, and collaborative therapeutic environment.
I place emphasis on the importance of your beliefs and expectations in determining how you may act and why you choose certain paths in life. Even from your first days of life, you are developing a template for how to think and feel about yourself, your relationships, and the world in general. It is essential to recognize the impact of dreams, wishes, daydreams, and other psychological forces that remain just outside of your conscious awareness.
It is also crucial to understand that the process of altering feelings and thoughts is influenced by factors that do not involve logic or reason. Most people spend a disproportionate amount of time rationalizing and reasoning with the intention of making changes. Decreasing emotional distress is also about altering the meaning that you may attribute to representations and memories of people, events, and symbols that are significant to events in your life. When you alter the internal image, it can lead to a change in how you view the outer world. Therefore, all of the world can be viewed as a mirror of your internal life.
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