Few people look forward to going to therapy at first. It can be scary to think about talking to a stranger, let alone sharing some of the most vulnerable pieces of you. In order for therapy to work, you must feel comfortable with and trust your therapist. This can take some time. After a few visits you should start to feel safe and hopefully look forward to our meetings. My goal is to make therapy enjoyable for you.
Think of your first meeting with me as a time for us to get to know each other and to decide if we might work well together. At the beginning of the session I will meet with you and your parent(s) or guardian(s). I will ask questions about your family, medical, social, school, and treatment history.
I will then ask your parent(s) or guardian(s) to leave the room (as long as you are comfortable) so you and I can talk. This is your opportunity to share more information about yourself if you choose. I will help you identify some goals that might be helpful for your time with me in therapy.
At the end of the session, I will invite your parent(s) or guardian(s) back in the room and we will share your goals for therapy and schedule our next session. I will also ask you to sign a form that gives me permission to talk with important adults in your life, such as your school social worker or counselor, a coach or teacher, or anyone else you feel might be helpful to your success.
What we talk about in our sessions stays between you and me. There are times, however, when talking with others may be helpful to make sure you have more support. This is why I have you sign a permission form for each adult you agree to let me talk to. I will always let you know if I plan to talk with someone you have given me permission to talk with, and you will know what I will be sharing with them. If at any time you decide you would no longer like me to communicate with an identified adult, I will honor your request and return the form to you.
If you are having thoughts of suicide I will assess your needs, notify your parents and together we will make a plan for you.
If you are having thoughts of harming or killing someone else, I will notify that person and the police.
If I receive a letter from a judge to release your records to a judge or lawyer, I must do so as well.
Communication with Your Parents
My communication with your parents is limited, as I feel it is important for you to have a safe place to talk about things that happen in your life. I will share with your parents whether you participate in sessions and how you are doing over all from my perspective. Should you engage in risky behaviors, you and I will talk about how to discuss this with your parents in the way you are most comfortable. I will not share information with your parents without you knowing first.