How do I prepare my child for the visit?
We recommend that you give your child a brief, age-appropriate explanation about the reason for this visit. Often it is helpful to describe the psychologist as a counselor or “talking doctor” who will try to help your family learn to get along better and to help your child to be happier / less worried / less frustrated / get along better with peers. If you have a young child, please reassure them that there will not be any uncomfortable procedures, such as shots or medications.
What do I need to bring?
At the first session, please complete the Child History Form, financial form and any other paperwork included in your initial packet. It will also be necessary to get a copy of your child’s health insurance card.
If your child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and/or previous psychoeducational testing, it is helpful to bring a copy of these documents and your child’s report cards for the therapist to review. When applicable, it is also helpful if you bring reports from other mental health providers. At subsequent sessions, it helpful if you bring written “homework” assignments, updated information, and/or agenda items with you.
There are books and toys provided in the waiting room for the children. Children may bring their own toys or electronic games at your discretion, but you are responsible for any personal items your child brings with him/her.
For your family’s privacy and the consideration of other families, we request that you avoid taking telephone calls in the waiting room.
Can I bring other children?
It is recommended that siblings do not come to appointments. If it is absolutely necessary to bring other children, please be aware that it is the parent’s responsibility to supervise them in the waiting room.
How long are the visits?
The therapy appointment is 45 minutes. Psychotherapy appointments typically start on time at the top of the hour and end at quarter till the hour. Therefore, it is important that you plan to arrive a few minutes before your appointment time. The time between sessions allows for the completion of essential clinical activities required by insurance companies and credentialing agencies.
How often will we schedule appointments?
For outpatient psychotherapy, most families initially meet weekly or biweekly. However, please discuss this with your psychologist at the first appointment.
Will the psychologist talk with my child’s school?
The psychologist will not talk with your child’s school without your written consent. Please be aware that insurance does not cover the costs of services outside of the therapy session. Therefore, you may be asked to pay for the cost of extended telephone calls.
Can I contact the psychologist between sessions?
Please discuss this with your psychologist. Please be aware that insurance does not cover the costs of services outside of the therapy session. Therefore, you may be asked to pay for the cost of extended telephone calls.
What kinds of mental health practitioners work with children and families?
Psychologists have either a master (M.A.) or doctoral level degree (Ph.D., Psy.D. or Ed.D.) in an area of psychology such as clinical, counseling, educational, or developmental psychology. Psychologists are licensed by the state. Psychologists are trained to provide services such as testing and assessment, and psychological evaluation and treatment for behavioral and emotional disorders. Psychologists do not prescribe medicine.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors (M.D. or D.O.) with additional training in behavioral and emotional evaluation and treatment. Psychiatrists are licensed by the state. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication.
Social workers have either a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) or master’s degree (M.S.W.). They can be licensed by the state to provide clinical services. Social workers provide psychotherapy for a variety of clinical presentations.
Licensed counselors usually work as either Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) or Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). They are licensed by the state. Licensure requires a master’s level degree in counseling or a related field.