When parents bring a child under the age of 12 for help, the therapist working with you may have a preference as to how to begin, whether to begin with the parents alone or by meeting with the parents and the child together. Either way it is helpful to bring along all relevant documents that may be informative. These might include copies of:
When the child is 12 or older usually the therapist working with you will want you to bring your child with you to that first appointment even though the therapist may elect to divide up the appointment time to spend time with the parents and your child together and/or separately. Parents and adolescents are encouraged to state their preference for how they would like to use the first session at the beginning of the appointment.
Eventually, the therapist may see the child or adolescent without the parents. In those sessions, it is most appreciated if the parent can send along any payments that may be due at the time of the session. Alternative arrangements to charge a credit/debit card can be made. Thanks for helping us out with this.
If you are involved in a divorce or custody litigation, it may be useful to know that the role of a therapist is not to make recommendations for the court concerning custody or parenting issues or to testify in court concerning opinions on issues involved in the litigation. Only court-appointed experts, investigators, or evaluators can make recommendations to the court on disputed issues concerning parental responsibilities and parenting plans. In this context, therapy is largely focused on the welfare of the children, supporting and helping them through the process.
In those cases where one parent is initiating counseling and the other parent is paying either through their insurance program or out of pocket, we require a written statement from the non-attending parent agreeing to the treatment and agreeing to the payment arrangements. (Find the Form here.) Furthermore, it is expected that the attending parent will have a check from the non-attending parent for the co-pays, deductibles, or other charges for each session unless arrangements for payment via credit/debit card are made ahead of time by the non-attending parent.
We appreciate your help in making the early stages of counseling helpful and effective.