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What to Expect in Therapy With Me

Things to know

· So much of therapy is about fit with your therapist. I recognize that I may not be the right therapist for you and your family, and that’s okay.

· If you are curious about anything that I am doing, please ask. I am happy to clarify anything. Also, this is a collaborative process. I am happy to have your input on how therapy is going, and how I can be helpful to you.

· Child therapy does not look like adult therapy. Adults work through things by talking them out. Children often do not have

· I understand that seeking therapy requires humility. It is not easy to admit that a stranger may be better able to help your kids than you, their parents. Please know that I take this responsibility very seriously.

First session

In my first session, I typically meet with parents alone. There are several reasons for this:

1. To discuss paperwork and confidentiality

2. To give me an opportunity to assess what is going on in the family and with your child. I tend to ask lots of questions in order to make an accurate diagnosis and write a treatment plan. This is a necessary process, but it’s not very exciting for kids, and doesn’t look much like my regular therapy style, which may prevent them from wanting to come back.

3. To give parents an opportunity to talk about what is going on at home without their children present. Often, by the time you seek therapy, you are tired and discouraged, and you want to make sure I understand how difficult things have gotten. These are not always conversations you want to have with your children present.

Things I will ask about

· What you are hoping to get out of therapy

· How often the problem occurs

· What is the worst it has been?

· What have you tried before that has or hasn’t worked?

· How does it manifest at home/school?

· How does your child do in social relationships (siblings, friends)?

· How does your child eat, sleep, exercise?

· Early child development (pregnancy, birth, developmental milestones, etc.)

· What does your child enjoy doing?

· What about your child makes you smile?

By the end of therapy, I tend to have directions for where we will go in therapy, but I typically like to have two more sessions

Child Only

In this session, I like to have your child alone in session. This is a time for them to explore the room, and to get used to the idea of sitting with a therapist. This tends to be unstructured time, where I watch your child play and reflect back what they are doing. This gives them the opportunity to have autonomy over what they do in therapy. It gives me the opportunity to see how they deal with the anxiety of a new room, the pressure of deciding for themselves, and the lack of structure.

Whole Family

I also like a session with the entire family. This gives me the opportunity to see how your child behaves in the context of their family. As a family therapist, I understand that the family can be a source of strength for child problems, but it can also magnify those problems.

Child with Parents (optional)

I will occasionally meet with you and your child together to get a sense of your relationship. This is particularly relevant when I am curious about how you structure things, and how comfortable your child feels when you are present and not present.

Parental Consult (variable structure)

After I have seen your child in several contexts, I can make an informed decision about how to move forward with therapy. This includes:

  • Who comes to therapy

  • How often we will meet

  • How many sessions we will have

  • What our goals will be (aka, how will we know when therapy is over)

  • Anything that can be done at home.

Depending on insurance and affordability, I can modify most of these sessions if you let me know.

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