Your First Counseling Session
What will happen during my first visit?
At your initial visit, one of our clinicians or school psychologists will meet with you and learn more about why you sought help. You may be asked about your beliefs, expectations, and experiences. This meeting helps us understand your present situation and outlook. From there, you and your service provider will discuss the various options with you to address your needs.
How long does it take?
At your first meeting, a clinician will likely ask you to fill out some paperwork that details your history. In an effort to determine the best way to assist you, he or she will inquire about your individual situation and discuss why you are obtaining treatment. Your first appointment is also a chance for you to decide whether that particular clinician is the right one for you. Should you and your clinician agree to work together, your clinician will go over how therapy works and set a schedule of further appointments. You will always have the chance to ask questions, and in some instances, the clinician might refer you to a colleague who can offer you treatment that better suits your needs.
Preparing your child for counseling appointments
At Psycho-Educational Associates, we sincerely hope that your child’s counseling sessions are beneficial and that your child’s experiences are both safe and comfortable. That said, there are some things parents and caregivers can do prior to appointments that can ensure your child has a positive experience.
We strongly recommend doing the following:
- Give your child a meal or a snack prior to the session. A hungry child has difficulty focusing on concepts brought up in counseling, and food is not permitted in the counseling center.
- Make sure your child has had the chance to use the restroom before their session. This lessens the likelihood that a child will have to leave the room in the midst of a session, which can be quite distracting.
- Leave cell phones and other electronic devices out of the sessions. These devices are distracting to children and therapists, so it is best to have your child leave them at home or with a parent during their sessions.
- Children must be in good health in order to concentrate on counseling. If your child is sneezing, coughing, nauseated or running a fever, wait until the child is well again and then reschedule the appointment.
- You should not use counseling as a threat or form of punishment, and avoid telling a child they are going to see a doctor because they often associate a doctor visit with shots and other procedures they find frightening.
If your child is 10 years old or younger, clinicians will require a parent to remain in the waiting room while sessions are ongoing.
Even though there may be a stigma associated with seeing a clinician, it is crucial to obtain treatment when your situation becomes overwhelming, and you can no longer cope on your own. When you reach out for help, you have already started the journey toward living a happier, more fulfilling life.
Thank you for taking the time to read these recommendations. If there is anything we can do to improve you and your child’s experience at Psycho-Educational Associates, be sure to let us know! Contact us today to schedule your appointment!