Most children's therapists will request a meeting with the parents before they meet the child. This is important for many reasons. Firstly the therapist has the opportunity to take a full intake of the child's history. The parents can then discuss the challenges facing their child and hear what options for therapy are recommended and what methods the therapist would use to help the child. This meeting also gives you a chance to see that you feel comfortable with the therapist and that the clinic seems right for your child. The first meeting does not constitute a commitment to begin therapy which gives parents the opportunity to go home and come to their final decision about bringing their child in for therapy.
What do you need for this meeting? If you have a list of concerns it is always good to jot them down before the meeting and bring them along. Sometimes it's hard to remember everything and it helps to have a list. It is also important to schedule the meeting at an hour that you can give your full attention without too many interruptions. When possible it is extremely important that both parents come to this initial meeting. This helps give a complete picture to the therapist which will benefit the therapy. If the parents are separated or divorced they can choose to meet the therapist separately if a joint meeting is not appropriate.
This initial meeting is very important to help the therapist understand the history of your child, their development and growth, the makeup of the family, and any important incidents that would be important for the therapist to know in order to understand your child's challenges better. On the other hand this is also the opportunity for you to assess if your child will feel good in this setting with this therapist. Do you feel comfortable, does the therapist seem to be able to connect with you both?
If you have more questions, things that you forgot to ask you should be able to get in touch to ask. This is the beginning of a very important relationship and you should feel comfortable calling and asking. Some therapists prefer email and that is fine as long as there is a direct connection so that you can update the therapist on anything important and ask the questions that might be of concern.
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