What to expect during the first meeting with me and your adolescent.
My first meeting with adolescents is, understandably, different from my first meeting with adult clients.
I ask that at least one parent or guardian accompany the teen to the initial session. I will meet with everybody together at first.
We will discuss why the parents and/or adolescents are seeking therapy, identify goals for that first meeting, and review confidentiality issues.
Generally, I cannot and will not repeat what your child tells me unless I have safety concerns.
Of course, parents and guardians need some feedback about my impressions –
we’ll discuss my observations and suggestions after I meet with your teen.
My primary goals in that meeting are to assess safety, need for therapy, and whether or not your adolescent and I agree we’d feel comfortable working together.
I’ll meet alone with your teen for about an hour. We’ll discuss how things are going at home, school, and with friends. I’ll screen for drug and alcohol issues; eating disorders; anxiety, mood, and thought disorders; self-harm; and other risky behaviors.
Your teen and I will discuss whether we’re comfortable moving forward and I’ll share my impressions with him or her. We’ll then invite the adult(s) to join us to discuss what we’ve learned
I’ll share any concerns about safety issues and discuss my perceptions and recommendations; I’ll also do my best to address any parental questions or concerns.
If your child’s issues are beyond my range of expertise, or if your child or I believe we don’t seem like a good fit, I’ll provide contact information for trusted colleagues who are likely better suited to your adolescent’s needs and wishes.
Assuming your adolescent and I agree that we’d like to work together, we’ll schedule two individual sessions and least one parents-only meeting. Divorced parents may choose to meet together with me or in separate sessions.
Parents are vital participants in their teen’s treatment process. I ask that you attend some scheduled sessions with your child and attend scheduled parents -only or family sessions as indicated.
I will always do my best to work with your scheduling needs.
Parents can call or email me with concerns about their adolescent in between sessions.
I can offer general guidance or suggestions but will not disclose what the teen has discussed in the session. Additionally, l inform all clients if someone has contacted me about them.
You can learn more about my confidentiality policy in the practice guidelines and policies form.