After this initial session, we'll likely meet about three more times to get a greater sense of what is going on and I can complete a broad assessment of appropriateness for therapy. By the end of the third or fourth session, I'll give my impressions, talk about reachable goals, how long we might work together, and your impressions as well. We can then make a decision about whether and how we will work together. If we determine that I am not the right therapist for you, I will be happy to provide appropriate referrals.
I always do an initial consultation with the parents of a minor before ever meeting the child, in order to assure that the parents have met me before I meet their child. If parents are separated or divorced, I like to meet with both parents, ideally together. In those cases especially, it is important that all adults can collaborate to help the child feel better and have effective treatment. In cases of separation and divorce, I may ask for copies of relevant sections of a settlement agreement in order to assure that all who need to consent to a minor's treatment have done so.
When working with children, it is important that the parents and I have a collaborative relationship in which we can communicate as necessary in the interest of their children. Confidentiality is essential for all patients, including children. I assure children of the confidentiality of their therapy and explain the limits of this confidentiality in age-appropriate terms.
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