getting help:  

Preparing for Your First Meeting
At Psychiatry & Family Counseling we use a variety of approaches to help adults, children and families to overcome obstacles and reach their goals. 
We suggest that you make a list of your questions and concerns.  For a child visit, bringing background documents such as report cards, schoolwork or previous testing is very helpful.
The first few sessions will involve an evaluation of your needs.  By the end of the evaluation, your therapist will be able to offer you some first impressions of what this work will include and a treatment plan to follow.  It is important that you take part in the planning and that you feel comfortable working with us and the mutual goals which we can help to establish.
Psychotherapy can yield significant benefits but it also involves risks.  Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings, like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness and helplessness.
On the other hand psychotherapy has also been shown to have many benefits.  Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems and significant reductions in feelings of distress.  In order for your therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things which are discussed in your sessions at the office and at home.

Talking with a Child about Therapy
The following statements are often useful in preparing your child for the initial visit with a therapist.  You will have to decide if this presentation is appropriate for your child.  A few days before the appointment, tell your child briefly about your concerns and that you are going to meet with a doctor who is different than most “shots” doctors or dentists.  This doctor is more like a coach; just as coaches help the players and team reach their goals and succeed, this doctor helps kids and families improve too.  Tell your child that the “coach” will probably want to get his or her perspective after or during a meeting with parents.


Child Therapy is a Special Relationship
As with adults, child therapy includes working with a professional within a trusting, confidential relationship.  To provide this trust and work toward getting “unstuck”, your child may also need to know that the things he or she says in therapy will be kept in confidence.  Don’t be discouraged if your child does not want to talk about their discussions with the therapist.  As child and family “coaches” we often work toward solutions that include helping your child become more comfortable discussing important matters with you.  If you accompany your child to sessions, we will invite you to share any updates at the beginning of each meeting and “touch base” at the end about non-confidential information, scheduling another appointment and reviewing relevant homework assignments with you.  Of course we will comply with the state law which requires that we inform you and/or appropriate authorities if your child or others appears at risk for serious imminent harm.  We may also suggest the relevance of talking with others such as a doctor or school personnel, but we will always ask you to sign a formal release of information form before contacting anyone else about your child.
There are some legal exceptions to the complex laws governing confidentiality.  If a situation arises at our practice, your therapist will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action and will limit any disclosure to what is necessary.

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