What to Expect - 1st Session
When you call...
Our office for the first time. we will ask you for some information. In addition, to getting basic information (such as your address and phone number) our secretary will ask you for a quick summary of the problem. She will not only explain our services, but also determining the best therapist for you and your family. We ARE accepting NEW patients at this time.
Preparing your child or adolescent
In general, we find that being upfront with your child about the reason for the first visit is best. For example, instead of saying, ”there is too much arguing in the house, we are going to see a doctor to learn how we can be a peaceful and happy family.” It would be clearer and more concise to say, “your father and I are concerned that your grades and behavior in school are not up to par or what we would expect. We will be seeing a doctor about this concern and he will be helping us on what to do.”
There are some instances when parents prefer to come in for the first session without their child. This is also acceptable. We leave this decision up to you. However, it is not possible to make a diagnosis without seeing and assessing your child/adolescent.
How many sessions will we need?
This is a common question but difficult to determine due to the different problems and situations we encounter. We all are trained in short term therapy. With anxieties, we are usually able help your child/adolescent in 2 to 4 sessions. With other behavior issues, our average is around 6 to 7 sessions (after the initial interview). Adolescents generally take a bit longer.
Your first appointment...
Will be 50 minutes long and involves you (if you are the patient) or you and your child. For child/adolescent clients, we ask that both parents attend the initial session since that gives us the most information possible. We realize that due to work schedules, this is not always feasible, so we ask that at least one parent attend with their child/adolescent. Your therapist will be asking both you and your child (depending on who is the client) questions to help with both a diagnosis and a course of treatment. Sometimes this initial assessment can take more than one session.
Insurance may cover our services; however, we are considered out of network. You must call your carrier to find out your coverage. Due to our specialty we are able to work quicker; thereby, you spend less time and less out of pocket costs.
Will going to therapy hurt my child's self esteem?
Not at all, just the opposite. What really hurts your child is not being able to resolve conflict and problems. It’s healthier and better for your child’s self-esteem to be clear about why they are going to therapy. Blaming or name calling will hurt your child’s self-esteem. Making general or vague statements like “we want to get along better as a family,” leaves your child wondering why he/she has to go and his/her siblings are not. Directness will help highlight the issue so he/she can work on it effectively. Often children will complain and balk saying they don’t want to go or they are not going to talk. Do not struggle with them. Let them know they don’t have to talk and instead, just tell them when the appointment is. Do not try and convince them that therapy will help them. That is our job, let US do it!
Testing and Assessments
We specialize in testing for ADHD and ADD. While it would be more convenient to do this testing during holidays or summer, this evaluation must be done while school is in session. The diagnosis is based on how your child behaves in several settings; such as, home, extracurricular activities, and especially school. In addition, we do school observations with elementary school-aged children.