What To Expect When Your Child Comes to Therapy

by | May 15, 2021 | Blog, What to expect

During the First Visit

Before your child comes to therapy, you will have an intake appointment with the therapist. They will help you understand what to expect in sessions, gather information about your child, and start to design a treatment plan. We encourage both parents to participate as much as possible. We know that filling out the intake paperwork can feel overwhelming. If you feel a little unsure what to write, that’s ok! We will fill in the gaps when we talk at that first appointment. It is super important you try to fill out your paperwork to the best of your knowledge and send it in advance so your therapist has time to review it before your session. You will also have an option to sign releases of information for your child’s therapist to speak to any other healthcare providers.

Telling your child what to expect

Children feel more secure and make more progress in therapy when they are prepared and have consistent sessions. After you meet with your therapist, you can prepare your child for their first session! Let your child know that therapy will be a safe place for them to talk about their thoughts and feelings. Explain that therapists help children talk and learn by using toys, books, games, and art supplies. Therapy should never be presented as punishment for something they have done wrong. Describe therapy as a place to get support, talk, learn, have fun, feel better. Arrive early to appointments, it is never fun to feel rushed or stressed before walking into sessions. For guidance preparing for virtual sessions check out Tips for an Effective Telehealth Appointment.

How often?

Your therapist will recommend the frequency of therapy sessions once meeting with you and forming an understanding of your child’s or family’s therapeutic goals. Generally you should plan for once weekly sessions. Regular sessions are important in order to establish and maintain therapeutic rapport between your child and the therapist. Consistent engagement in therapy is also important in order to make progress toward treatment goals. Once therapy goals are consistently being met, your therapist would discuss decreasing the frequency of sessions.

How long?

All sessions are typically 45-53 minutes long. This is typically dictated by your insurance coverage. Other factors which can influence the length of a session are the age of the child, as younger children can have a difficult time with longer sessions, and the type of therapy being provided.

What do sessions look like?

The focus of initial therapy sessions with your child is on building a strong therapeutic connection, as this is an essential part of a healthy therapist-client relationship. Developing a productive relationship with the child client, significantly increases the likelihood of more positive outcomes in therapy.

Are You Ready to Begin The Therapeutic Process?

If you have not already gotten booked with one of our therapists, but you’d like to now that you are more prepared, please reach out to get scheduled! You can talk to our Intake Coordinator to get even more information and get started right away!

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