It can be scary to think about talking to a stranger about challenges you are experiencing. We work hard to create a space where you feel comfortable sharing what is going on for you. Our goal is to understand you and your experience more clearly so that we can be most effective in helping you. Through thoughtfulness, care, and respect we invite you to allow us to help you. It is important for you to feel comfortable with your therapist and if we are not a good fit, we will make sure you are connected with someone who might be.
Think of your first meeting as a time for you to get to know your therapist and see if you might feel comfortable meeting with them.
For the first part of this meeting, you and your parent(s)/guardian(s) will meet with your therapist and answer general questions about your family, medical, social, school, treatment history, what your concerns are, and your hopes for therapy. Your therapist will share with you how they provide therapy, talk about confidentiality, and what you can expect from them.
For the next part of the meeting, your parent(s)/guardian(s) will be asked to leave the room (as long as you are comfortable) so you can talk one-on-one with your therapist. This is your opportunity to share more information about yourself if you choose. Your therapist will help you identify some goals that might be helpful for your time in therapy. Your therapist will also explore with you other important adult supports that might be helpful to you reaching your goals and whether you feel comfortable with the therapist talking with them. If this is the case, you will be asked to sign a permission form for them to be able to communicate with each other. This may include your school social worker or counselor, a coach or teacher, other treatment provider, or anyone else you feel might be helpful to you.
At the end of the session, your parent(s)/guardian(s) will be brought back into the room and your therapist will provide treatment recommendations and schedule your next session.
Communication with Your Parent(s)/Guardian(s)
Each therapist at DMC practices uniquely and depending on your needs may involve your parent(s)/guardian(s) more or less frequently. For the most part, communication with your parent(s)/guardian(s) is limited, as we feel it is important for you to have a safe place to talk about things that happen in your life. However, we do believe involving parent(s)/guardian(s) can be important to ensuring you have the best support from them to reach your goals. This may be having them in once a month to once every few months, with or without you present based on your best interest. Regardless of frequency and type of communication, you and your therapist will talk about what is best together and you will be part of the conversation and know what will be shared. You will be informed of any communication between your therapist and parent(s)/guardian(s) and ideally will be part of the communication.
How long will I be in therapy?
DMC recommends initially coming in once a week to build a relationship with your therapist, become familiar with how therapy works and to make progress toward your goals and needs. As you engage in therapy and begin to make progress toward your goals your therapy needs may change. Your timeline for therapy is unique to you. Some may come in with a goal they would like to discuss and make changes around and feel that is enough. For others, it may not be as simple as one issue or more may be uncovered while talking with your therapist about other needs that might be worth addressing. It is important to talk with your therapist about your expectations and their recommendations to avoid confusion.