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Information for your first visit



  • In preparing for the first visit to a counselor, it is important that you be honest with your child about why you are coming to therapy.  It is most helpful if you approach this in a positive manner rather than as a punishment.  Speak about the broad concerns rather than getting into details.  For example:  "We have been arguing a lot and the counselor will help us learn to get along better" or "I'm concerned about how worried you have been and a counselor can help us all with that".

  • For young children, you may want to let them know that this type of visit is different from a doctor visit and will not involve shots or exams.  You can emphasize that the counselor will help everyone work together to solve problems, get along better and understand one anothers needs.  

  • Let your child know that they can talk about what is happening in their lives and express their feelings openly to the counselor without you getting upset.  

  • For older children, it can be reassuring to let them know that what they talk about with the counselor is private and will not be shared with others (there are limits to this confidentiality which will be specifically discussed during your first visit).  

  • Parents should try not to use counseling appointments as a time to lecture or scold their children. Counseling should be a positive experience for your child.  Many families find it helpful to use the ride home from counseling as a time for something special such as sharing a positive event from the day or stopping for ice cream or for a favorite meal.

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