If your child is the client, I ask parents to come alone for the first visit. Time alone gives you and I the opportunity to openly discuss your concerns and what your goals for counseling are.
When you arrive at the office you will find a comfortable waiting area. I will ask that you provide me with some information so that I can better understand your concerns.
Once you have completed the intake forms, I will meet with you to discuss your reason for coming to therapy. This time will allow you and I to identify the goals that are important to you and how we will work together to reach them.
Step 1: Getting to know each other
With all children, families and therapists there is a period of getting to know each other. For some kids and families this is very short, and others take longer to feel comfortable. In your child, this might look like the first day of school: exploring, learning names and rules, being very quiet. This could also include children testing limits to see how I might react. You could expect this from one meeting to several, all kids move at their own pace.
Step 2: Treatment
Through working with you and your child, I will regularly meet and discuss progress with you outside of the time that I spend with your child. You can ask to set aside time for this or we will plan time together. I am also available to talk with teachers as well as other important people in your child's life upon your request.
To help accelerate the work that is accomplished in sessions, I will recommend steps that can be taken between sessions related to your goals. It is important that you to take this piece of therapy very seriously. Therapy is a partnership. Without your participation, it will take longer, and results will be short lived.
Step 3: Teamwork
During our regular discussions, we will be assessing progress made towards therapy goals. As a team, we will decide when your goals have been met. Together we will create a plan to maintain the positive benefits you will find in therapy. For most people, this means seeing me less and less often.
It is important to me that you know that I am always available if they would like to come back and see me or if they just want to give me an update on how great things are going!