Our first PACT counseling session together will be three hours long!
This is a part of the PACT counseling structure that is absolutely necessary. I know three hours can seem daunting, but most clients tell me that the time goes by very quickly. In those three hours we accomplish a lot! There are some very sound reasons for this long first session:
- The Authentic Self -It take a bit for ones nervous system to really settle down and for the authentic self to show up. Even people who have been in therapy in the past, need some time get to a place where the human part of their brain will let go and the more animalistic brain takes over. We are looking at things like micro expressions, certain body movements and language inflections that are unconscious, but never the less, have a profound impact the relationship.
- Dis-regulation – In short sessions, there isn’t sufficient time to do deep exploration. We are just getting to the nitty gritty and, poof, the session is over. When this happens, people leave feeling worse than when they came in. It’s even worse because we haven’t given them any tools to help them through their troubles. In a 90 minute session people feel dis-regulated and off balance, but after a full 3 hour session, it’s like a hero’s journey, you have gone down into the trenches, You have had some “ah ha” moments, you have discovered things about each other you never knew (even if you have been together for 20 years.)
- Territory – There is a lot that I need to cover with you, so that you can leave feeling optimistic and hopeful that the tools I’m giving you and the changes we make in your relationship will net real results.
- Time Pressure – When we have three hours together, there is a natural unfolding rather than us having to play, “beat the clock!”
If your perception is that you will be in the chairs with me talking to you for three hours, thats not the case. I promise that your will learn something about yourselves, about your partner, about your relationship – and, god forbid, you may even have some fun in the process. PACT Counseling is just that way!