As a parent, you watch for and are excited by the developmental milestones your child reaches. It's a joy to watch the growth and changes in your child. We know that each child will develop in his or her own unique way and within an age range. A child might be more fearful than other children or have more enthusiastic behaviors. At times, you might wonder if your child is on track. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between typical changes in a child and changes that may indicate more serious concerns. Knowing when to seek professional help can be challenging. I offer a free 15-minute telephone consultation for you to share your concerns and make decisions about therapy and a therapist.
Talking to Your Child
Parents often ask what to tell their child about seeing a therapist. To help your child understand what therapy is and might look like, I have prepared a page just for kids. Please review my page "For Kids" to see if the information will help you to talk to your child about starting therapy.
Getting to know you
Your child's story is important to making good decisions about how to best help. The first few sessions are a time to learn more about your child, your family, and the concerns that bring you to counseling. The first appointment is for parents or guardians only. This lets us talk freely without your child hearing adult concerns. We will complete some intake forms and I will gather information and history about your child and family. This helps me to know a bit about your child prior to meeting him or her at the next appointment.
Getting to know your child
Children's responses to coming to counseling vary. My goal is to help your child feel comfortable on the first visit. That means doing something that your child finds fun and interesting. While it may look like play, we are starting to build a therapy relationship and I am learning about your child. Of course, you are welcome to stay in the room. Your child's well-being and sense of safety are important and will set the pace for therapy.
A Team Approach
You are the most important person in your child's world. Your child will learn new skills and strategies in therapy. It is important that you be a part of that learning so that you can help your child use new skills at home, at school, and in the community. Parent attendance at therapy is essential for your child to move towards and you will enjoy seeing the changes occur.