What To Expect
Breaking The Ice: The Free Initial Telephone Consultation
Dr. De Luca offers Free Initial Telephone Consultations. Finding the right therapist is critical to a successful therapeutic relationship and outcome. Moreover, regardless of your reason for seeking help and guidance, you will be more relaxed and obtain better results knowing what to expect from Dr. De Luca, and knowing from what is expected of you.
The Free Initial Telephone Consultation provides you with the opportunity ask questions, to learn more about
Dr. De Luca and the services offered by Erie Colorado Counseling, to learn more about the Counseling, Psychotherapy, or Evaluation process, to discuss fees and insurance, arrange scheduling needs, to decide if you think Dr. De Luca is the right therapist for you and your situation, or to even obtain a referral to another therapist who may better accommodate your needs.
The Initial Evaluation
Regardless of the type of services you are seeking at Erie Colorado Counseling, the first visit is always face-to-face with Dr. De Luca. This first visit is referred to as the Initial Evaluation.
During the Initial Evaluation, you will be asked specific questions about you and your life. This will assist in making an initial assessment of your situation, which will greatly help to form a course of action (treatment plan), and in achieving the goals of therapy with beneficial and productive outcomes.
Although some questions and information may be difficult to think about or to answer, keep in mind that you are in a safe and non-judgmental environment, and that the information obtained is used for your benefit. Questions and information that may be asked generally include the following:
1. What brought you to seek services at Erie Colorado Counseling?
A particular issue most likely led you to seek Counseling, Psychotherapy, or an Evaluation. It is important to understand your surface problem(s) before deeper issues can be addressed.
2. Your personal history and current situation.
You will be asked a series of questions about your life. For example, because family situations play an important role in who you are, you will be asked about your family history and your current family and relationship situation.
3. Your current symptoms.
Other than knowing the reason you sought services from Erie Colorado Counseling, it is very important to find out if you’re experiencing other symptoms related to your problem(s). For example, your problem might be causing difficulty at work, in relationships, or at school. This information will be used to better understand and identify your problem(s), to form a course of action (treatment plan), and ultimately in achieving the goals of therapy with beneficial and productive outcomes.
Bressert, S. (2015). What to Expect in Your First Counseling Session. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2016, from
How To Get The Most Out Of The Initial Evaluation
Below are some suggestions to help make your first session as successful as possible.
1. Don't just sit there.
Therapy is a team effort. If you don’t take an active part in the session, you won’t find the Counseling and Psychotherapy experience valuable or beneficial.
2. Be open.
As therapists, we are trained to ask the right questions, but we’re not mind readers. We can do our job more effectively if you answer the questions openly and honestly. In the long run, the outcome will be in your best interest.
3. Be prepared.
Before your first session, know how to describe “what’s wrong,” and to describe your feelings about your problem(s). One way to prepare is to write down the reasons why you are seeking help and guidance. Make a list and then read it out loud. Hearing yourself say it a few times will help you describe things more clearly.
4. Ask questions. The more you understand the Counseling and Psychotherapy experience or how Counseling and Psychotherapy work, the more comfortable and relaxed you’ll be. Ask questions about the therapy process, what you can expect, what is expected of you, and any other questions you might have. Above all, be sure that you ask for for things to be repeated if you do not have a clear understanding of things.
5. Be open and honest about your feelings.
A lot of information will be discussed in the first session (Initial Evaluation). Hence, a lot will be going through your mind. This is a normal response. Make an effort to listen to your own reactions and feelings, and be sure to share them with the therapist. This will assist in making an initial assessment of your situation, which will greatly
help to form a course of action (treatment plan), and in achieving the goals of therapy with beneficial and productive outcomes.
6. Have realistic expectations.
Therapy is not a quick fix for your problem, rather it is a process. With some effort on your part and a strong and trusting relationship with your therapist, Counseling and Psychotherapy can be successful tools toward resolving problems, and in achieving the goals of therapy with beneficial and productive outcomes.
Bressert, S. (2015). What to Expect in Your First Counseling Session. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2016, from
The Difference Between Counseling & Psychotherapy
The terms Counseling & Psychotherapy are frequently used interchangeably. This can be quite confusing. The
differences in these specialties are grounded within their history, and the focus and emphasis in the training
of therapists. Dr. De Luca is trained and licensed to provide both Counseling and Psychotherapy services.
*Counseling and Psychotherapy are typically an interactive, collaborative process based on dialogue and a person's active engagement in joint problem-solving. Very often, the techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy will overlap with eachother during a therapy session. Dr. De Luca incorporates the techniques of both Counseling and Psychotherapy accordingly. Their combined therapeutic differences greatly help to guide the course of therapy, and in achieving the goals of therapy with beneficial and productive outcomes.
Why Counseling & Psychotherapy?
Investing in yourself is the most important investment you can make in a lifetime!
There are many benefits to counseling and psychotherapy. You don't necessarily have to have a major problem
in order to want a more balanced, fulfilling and happier life. People seek counseling and psychotherapy for many
reasons, from dealing with the challenges of everyday life to coping with anxiety and depression, raising children,
getting along in relationships, getting through a divorce, overcoming a traumatic event, dealing with grief, substance abuse, coping with a life transition, dealing with the loss of a job, or simply to obtain direction for personal, relationship, family, academic, or professional growth.
Individual Counseling & Psychotherapy
Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy is a great personal opportunity for growth and support during challenging times, and through life transitions. It is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a therapist. Grounded in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. You and your therapist work together to identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
Individual Counseling & Psychotherapy can be short term or long term. The goals of therapy are specific and unique to the person's situation. It is an opportunity to better understand your behaviors, emotions, beliefs, and other aspects of your life that you would like to address or change. Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy is a great opportunity to acquire the skills to effectively cope with life challenges, and to set obtainable goals for the future.
*American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. Retrieved from
Family Counseling & Psychotherapy
Family Counseling and Psychotherapy involves members of an immediate family, a stepfamily, a blended family, and in some cases, even an extended family. It is very useful in helping to solve family problems, to improve communication, and to resolve conflicts.
Some examples of topics addressed in Family Counseling and Psychotherapy include but are not limited to child and adolescent behavioral issues, changes in family relationships, conflict, custody and shared parenting difficulties, divorce, the death of a family member, health issues, same-sex couples parenting, and substance abuse. Pediatricians will often recommend Family Counseling and Psychotherapy if family issues are identified as contributing factors to a child or adolescents behavioral issues, anxiety, depression, and physical complaints.
Family Counseling and Psychotherapy is often short term. It may include all family members or just those able or willing to participate. Therapy helps to identify and recognize family patterns of behavior that contribute to problems. The goals of therapy are specific and unique to the families situation. Family Counseling and Psychotherapy is a great opportunity for families to acquire the skills to effectively communicate, resolve conflicts, and to set obtainable goals for the future.
Couples & Marriage Counseling & Psychotherapy
The focus of Couples and Marriage Counseling and Psychotherapy is to identify and recognize patterns of behavior that contribute to conflict and distress in the relationship. Some examples of topics addressed in Couples and Marriage Counseling and Psychotherapy include but are not limited to communication difficulties, domestic violence, financial problems, health issues, infidelity, intimacy problems, parenting issues, potential break-ups, sexual difficulties, substance abuse, and unhealthy behaviors.
Couples and Marriage Counseling and Psychotherapy is often short term. The goals of therapy are specific and unique to the couples situation. Couples and Marriage Counseling and Psychotherapy is a great opportunity for couples to learn to aquire the skills to effectively communicate, resolve conflict, and to better understand and work through past or current issues that have a negative impact on their relationship, and to manage life together in a health way.
Note: Although Couples and Marriage Counseling and Psychotherapy are similar, the focus for married couples may be geared more towards the general institution of marriage, while the focus for unmarried couples may be somewhat different. Ultimately, the therapeutic goals and treatment plans are specific to the situation, and to what is most comfortable and beneficial for the couple, regardless of their marital status.
Group Counseling & Psychotherapy
Group Counseling and Psychotherapy is a great support network for people who face similar challenges, and who would like to improve their ability to cope with problems. Regardless of age or circumstance, Group Counseling and Psychotherapy is very beneficial in reassuring a person that they are not alone in facing the challenges that they are experiencing. It also provides an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others with similar problems, and also helps to better understand how other people view the world and interact with others. The focus in Group Counseling and Psychotherapy is on relationships with other people, and ways to improve communication and getting along with others.
Group Counseling and Psychotherapy can be short term (time limited) or ongoing. Short term groups will usually run one time per week for six to eight weeks. In an ongoing group, once the group starts, it continues indefinitely, with some group members completing their goals and leaving the group, and others joining along the way as openings are available in the group. The length of Group Counseling and Psychotherapy depends on the purpose of the group, and the group members. Group members are carefully selected with the goal that all members will compliment and interact in ways that will help all group members.
American Psychological Association & Johnson, B. (n.d.). Psychotherapy: Understanding group therapy. Retrieved on July 10, 2016, from