What To Expect In Your Child’s Therapy Session

What To Expect In Your Child’s Therapy Session

The idea of sending your child, whole family or yourself to therapy can be an intimidating thought but it doesn’t have to be.  For many, scary stereotypes of therapy sessions gone horribly wrong swirl around their brain.  Troubling ideas of what therapy means keep them from crossing their emotional boundaries and they convince themselves they can solve their own problems.  Even you may think to yourself, “I don’t need a professional’s help!”

I can promise you all of these ideas and stereotypes are wrong. Therapists are real people with lives that are just as “imperfect” as the clients they help.  They do not have all the answers to life and should not pretend they do.  Are there therapists who have gone rogue?  Sure.  But all professions contain a few of those.  Don’t let them speak for the greater population.  Most therapists I know are warm, inviting, engaging, open-minded and, generally, have a true desire to help people better their lives.  They should be well-educated and culturally-sensitive.  Many times, they possess humor and a deep love of people.

You can expect your therapist to do the following in sessions:

  • Cover the terms of confidentiality in the first session.
  • Involve you, the parent, in the session without comprising your child’s confidentiality.
  • Meet your child where he/she is in terms of need in treatment.
  • Develop a relationship with your child and family to establish trust.  Relationship-building is of extreme importance in therapy.
  • Possibly conduct play therapy or art therapy for little ones.
  • Possibly develop a goal-oriented action plan for parents to utilize at home.
  • Therapists may make community support referrals to better aid your family.
  • If you are already seeing a psychiatrist; a therapist may be in communication with your doctor to better serve your needs.
  • If a diagnosis is necessary in your treatment; a therapist is trained to diagnose according to the DSM-V.
  • Most therapy sessions will be scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  I urge parents to advocate for a weekly appointment in order to help the therapist and child develop a relationship and move the process of treatment along in a productive manner.

Don’t let misconceptions get in the way of getting the help you or your family may need.  Seek out solutions.  Seek out a therapist.  For more information regarding maneuvering the mental health system; read the resources and FAQ section of my website.  Always remember… we ALL need outside help from time to time.  You are never alone in your struggles. Problems are UNIVERSAL.