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A Typical Session

About Dr. Ballon Our Philosophy How We Can HelpA Typical Session FAQ Articles By Dr. Ballon



  After the evaluation has been completed, a course of treatment is planned along with a schedule of appointments. You may wonder what a typical session might be like.

During the treatment period:
Dr. Ballon meets with the patient for 45 minute sessions. As might be expected, the exact nature of the exchange differs from patient to patient. However, a common goal of all therapy work is that doctor and patient collaborate to develop a helpful mutual understanding of the patient's problems. The tone of the session is friendly and open. Contrary to stereotypes of psychiatrists in our culture, where the doctor says little and is cold and removed, work with Dr. Ballon is in the form of a conversation. His attitude is non-judgmental.

The session might be framed in various ways:
Sometimes, the patient has a particular problem to work on and brings his or her agenda to each session. The conversation might start with a question from the doctor or an update from the patient. The patient is always encouraged to bring up any problems, whether they seem related or not. Dr, Ballon will guide, ask questions, and offer insights. He will never just sit and stare in silence.

Some patients bring in journals, dreams, pictures and their own account of what is going on. If it is hard for a patient to know where or how to start, Dr. Ballon helps by asking questions or providing ideas from what he has learned in previous sessions. This can provide helpful continuity.

Patients often ask what are the markers of progress.
During the period of treatment, Dr. Ballon and the patient will track certain indicators of improvement. Generally, the signs of progress fall under two categories: the patient feeling better and the patient doing better. The first has to do with reducing or eliminating painful symptoms, such as excessive sadness or nervousness. The second has to do with goals the patient may choose in his own life, such as greater effectiveness with a boss, a spouse, or friends, or increased productivity and happiness at work.

Patients have often remarked on the following signs of progress:

  • Patient is managing a certain illness well
  • Patient notes symptoms under good control or eliminated
  • Patient is experiencing increased self-esteem
  • Patient is developing a positive identity
  • Patient is building a solid social network
  • Patient is experiencing an increased capacity to do productive work
  • Patient is feeling there is a reason to get up in the morning!