Phone: 314-863-8065


Monday - Friday
Flexible schedule and evenings available as needed

(Pre-screening required)

St. Louis Individual, Couples, & Family Therapist

When times are hard and there is difficulty in your life, I can help you move forward.

Credentials and Experience: Judy Zisk Lincoff is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the State of Missouri with an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.S.W. from Washington University in St. Louis. She teaches graduate-level courses at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in Family Therapy and Couples Counseling. This training as well as her years of practical experience makes her uniquely suited to offer counseling regarding relationship issues, divorce, parent-adolescent problems, depression, anxiety, women’s issues, self-esteem, family violence, grief, and loss. Judy also co-founded the St. Louis Council Against Family Violence and was a board member for Kids in the Middle.

Judy Zisk Lincoff's profile on Psychotherapy Saint Louis


8000 Maryland Ave.
Suite 320
Clayton, MO 63105

Phone: 314-863-8065
Email: [email protected]

Call for an appointment 314-863-8065

Counseling Guide: What to Expect During the First Counseling Appointment

St. Louis Family Counseling and Therapy

After contacting a therapist for the first time by phone, you will set up an initial visit. This visit will be different than other counseling sessions and is generally intended for you and the counselor to become familiar with each other. During this visit you will begin to explain your concerns and problems to the therapist. You should also take some time during this counseling session to ask any questions that you have about the therapist as well as questions about the methods he or she uses.

To learn more about this initial counseling visit please see our information about choosing a therapist or contact Judy Zisk Lincoff, a St. Louis therapist offering individual counseling, couples counseling, marriage counseling, and family counseling services.

Prior to the Initial Counseling Appointment

Prior to your initial counseling appointment, your therapist should share important financial information with you including whether your insurance company should provide payment for the counseling services and how much you will be expected to pay for each counseling appointment. If you are using insurance to pay for counseling services, you will need to bring this information with you to the initial appointment and you may need to fill out several financial information forms.

Even prior to the initial counseling appointment, during the first phone conversation you should be assessing your comfort level and whether or not you will be able to build a relationship with your therapist. Another thing you should remember prior to attending an initial counseling visit is to consider the types of questions that you may want to ask your therapist. These questions may include questions about the therapist’s theoretical orientation, training and education, background, and experience treating individuals with your particular problem. A therapist’s theoretical orientation describes theories to which the therapist subscribes when thinking about a person’s problems and how to treat them. Most therapists use what is called an “eclectic” orientation during counseling, which means that they try to tailor their treatment approach to your specific way of relating. Other possible approaches to counseling and therapy include “cognitive-behavioral” therapy, “behavioral” therapy, and “psychodynamic” therapy.

During the Initial Counseling Appointment

During the initial counseling appointment, also called an Intake Evaluation, you and the therapist begin to get to know each other. This session will typically be much different than other counseling sessions. During this counseling session, you will be asked a number of questions in order to help the therapist become familiar with you and your problems. Questions and information the therapist may want you to explain include:

  • What brings you into therapy - For couples this may include a single event or frequent arguments and feelings of resentment, while for individuals it may be what you feel is currently wrong in your life.
  • What kind of symptoms you are experiencing - This can include a loss of sleep, obsessive thoughts about something, or overwhelming feelings of hopelessness.
  • Your family and general history – The extent of this history can vary but may include questions about your childhood, education, social relationships, friends, romantic relationships, and career.

While a therapist’s goal during the initial counseling visit is to understand your history and your current concerns, your main goal during an initial counseling visit should be to become familiar and comfortable with the therapist. If you do not feel comfortable with a therapist, you may want to contact another therapist in your area in order to find someone with whom you can be open and honest during future therapy sessions.

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