The Colorado Center for Clinical Excellence
home
our therapists
how we do it

Irina Banfi-Mare, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist

303-547-3615

outcomes

Irina Banfi-Mare, Psy.D.     303.547.3615

therapy topics
FAQ
privacy
general info & therapy style
areas of treatment
how to reach us
outcome data
employment
resources
book appointment
frequently asked questions
biography
inspiring quotes

search our site:

recommended books & films
videos & photos

Dr. Irina Banfi-Mare's FAQ


click on a question:

(click here for our main FAQ)

How long will therapy take?
What happens in the first session?
How often should we meet?
How will I know when I'm finished with therapy?
I've had bad experiences with therapy in the past. Why should I bother to try again?
What if I'm on the fence about starting therapy?
Do you offer a sliding scale?
Other questions? Click here for our main FAQ

How long will therapy take?
It depends. How long therapy takes depends on different things. For example: severity of the problem, how long it has been going on, your goals for therapy, whether you want to learn some basic coping skills or want to change and understand deeper aspects of your personality, what kinds of supports and resources you have, your motivation to change things, your willingness and ability to apply what we talk about in sessions to your life, and how long you want to stay in therapy.

return to list

What happens in the first session?
I will ask you to read and fill out some forms: information about me, privacy policies, fees, and your background. Most people prefer to fill these out prior to coming in to the first session (I can provide you with login information and you can download them from my resources page). This takes 10 to 15 minutes. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete a few surveys about your recent well-being in the waiting room right before your session (this is to get a baseline of how you are doing and to help identify key concerns). I will review those forms with you and talk about what you would like help with. We will also start to talk about potential goals in therapy, what you want/don't want in therapy, and I will do my best to answer any questions you have for me. I will then ask you for some feedback about the initial visit. Many people prefer to meet for 75 minutes at the initial visit in order not to feel rushed and have plenty of time to review the forms and freely talk about their concerns. The initial visit is more of a consultation, rather than a therapy session, so that we can see if we are a good fit and want to work together. By letting me know what you want to get out of the first visit, I can have a better idea of what to emphasize and make the most of our time together.

return to list

How often should we meet?
Clients who are able to meet once a week on a consistent basis best establish a sense of momentum and traction in their work in therapy. Within a few sessions you should have a sense if we are going in the right direction toward meeting your goals. Meeting once per week or at most every other week is necessary to establish a sense of trust and comfort in discussing sensitive and personal information. When I trust and feel comfortable with a client, I am a better therapist…when a client trusts me and feels comfortable with me, he or she is a better client. As you begin to make progress, it can be helpful and appropriate to space out sessions to every other week. Once your main goal is to maintain gains, we can space sessions out to once a month or occasional "booster" sessions.

return to list

How will I know when I'm finished with therapy?
When you have accomplished your goals, no longer want to continue therapy, or therapy does not seem to be helping (even after we've tried to make changes and adjustments). No therapy or therapist can be the best fit for everyone. Ongoing feedback is a tool we use that helps identify potential problems early on and to track the effectiveness of therapy so that you get the most out of your therapy process. Keep in mind that you may be at a point in life where there isn't as much time or motivation to invest in therapy as you initially believed. This is perfectly ok…sometimes the purpose of starting therapy is to set the foundation for future therapy. Ultimately the goal is to establish effective coping skills and a strong support network so that you do not "need" therapy on an ongoing basis, but rather on an as needed basis. If you feel like you are doing well and want to end therapy, please let me know. Ideally we can discuss this during a session and both have a clear sense of your progress and goals. A final session can provide closure for the therapy process and give us a chance to review what you've accomplished, what you will focus on independently, what was helpful/not helpful, and address any final concerns.

return to list

I've had bad experiences with therapy in the past. Why should I bother to try again?
Not all therapists are alike, not all therapies are alike. In the past you may not have been ready for therapy or not have been able or willing to apply the ideas discussed in therapy. Knowing what didn't work before can be useful in avoiding the same mistakes or obstacles now. Also knowing what you want and what you think may help increases the chance therapy will be more helpful to you now. Think of it this way: maybe you weren't ready, maybe the therapist was not a good fit, maybe the therapeutic approach was not a good fit, or maybe you and your therapist did not agree on what the goals were. Sometimes there are external factors that are major obstacles to significant improvement. There can be many reasons why therapy was not effective in the past. You are not the same person you were then and you may have a more positive experience this time around. The use of ongoing feedback increases the likelihood that you will make the therapy process fit you and not waste your time, money, or energy in something that is not working.

return to list

What if I'm on the fence about starting therapy?
If you are ambivalent/have mixed feelings about starting therapy, I would encourage you to gather information about therapy from various sources (people you know, online, books, etc) so that you have some idea of what to expect. Not all therapists are alike, just as not all physicians or teachers are alike. You may have to try out several different therapists before you discover a good fit. A good fit is essential and you should be able to know with just a few sessions if that fit will be helpful to you. There are also different approaches to therapy (both regarding understanding of problems and in techniques used) and some may work for you, while others may not. You can discuss this with your therapist. You can be an active participant in your therapy and the process does not have to be confusing or mysterious. Watching short introductory videos by therapists and reading about their approach can be very useful in determining who is appropriate for you. Remember, it takes courage and strength to seek therapy. Ask yourself, "Do the potential benefits outweigh the costs of making a change?"

return to list

Do you offer a sliding scale?
I do provide a temporary sliding scale for some clients, depending on financial need and personal circumstances. Note that this reduced fee is temporary and subject to change according to improvement in your financial situation.

return to list

Other questions? Click here for our main FAQ

The Colorado Center
for Clinical Excellence