What should I expect at my initial consultation?
Please prepare for your initial appointment by completing our intake packet available to you online. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to your first visit, so you can begin your consultation on time with our Clinical Director. Our Clinical Director will meet with you to discuss your concerns in fuller detail. She’ll gather background information as well as any medical and developmental histories. She’ll also be able to offer any necessary clinical or educational recommendations and answer any of your specific questions. At the end of your consultation, she will select the best fit therapist from our clinical team who is able to address your concerns.
How will counseling help me or my family?
By participating in therapy, you are able to learn new ways to learn or improve social and emotional communication, parent-child relationships and overall functioning. In many cases, symptoms of depression and anxiety can be improved or completely alleviated. You are able to gain a better understanding in resolving issues with better problem-solving skills. Seeking a counseling professional shows your commitment to living a healthier, more productive life.
What if my child is refusing to attend therapy?
You and your child may not be on the same page regarding the concerns that you have shared, or your child may just not feel ready or comfortable engaging with an outside mental-health professional. So if your child is resistant to therapy and refusing to attend, consider some additional options.
- Try negotiating for an agreement to attend at least the first five sessions (or go down to three).
- Determine if accessing therapy via an online platform would be more agreeable to your child and appropriate based on their need.
- Consider offering a reward or incentive for attending the first session, such as dinner out afterwards at their favorite eatery, extra time playing a video game, or buying movie tickets for them and a friend for the weekend.
- If you haven’t already, identify if there are any school-based services offered that may be a better fit for your child.
- If there are reasons to be concerned about safety as a result of suicidal thoughts and behaviors or risky behaviors, such as substance use, it is appropriate to make attending sessions a requirement, because their concerning behaviors have an impact on their decision-making ability. In the end, as the parent/caregiver, you have a responsibility to provide them with medical care and safety.
Getting outside help, especially for the first time, is generally anxiety-provoking for most people. As a parent, you may have an urge to decrease your own anxiety or limit your teen’s anxiety by not discussing these topics. While avoiding these conversations may help in the short term, overall it could be quite unhelpful in the long term. Increase the likelihood of success as your teen gets help by including them in the process, providing them with a respectable level of privacy in therapy, and addressing their needs, wants, and fears openly and with negotiation if needed.
My hope is that through your support, a helpful mental-health provider, and your teen’s participation, your child can get back to better with a healthier life ahead of them.
What can I expect from therapy?
Because each person's response to therapy is unique, therapeutic goals and outcomes will vary depending on the individual. Learning new skills and integrating new ways to deal with difficulties takes time. Our clinicians see clients on a weekly basis during the first 3-6 months to build a strong therapeutic alliance and to create a healthy foundation for therapy. We will work together to gradually decrease your visits to biweekly then to a monthly schedule to gradually end our services once you have met your established goals. We aim is to prepare you to meet your goals and achieve independence in your success!
What if I have to reschedule or cancel an appointment?
Consistency is vital to achieving results in therapy, however, if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you must call us within 24 hours of your appointment to avoid same day cancellation charges or missed fees.
What about medication versus therapy?
In most cases, mental health issues can not rely on medication alone. Medication cannot teach skills. In some cases medication may not be necessary. When medication is warranted, many physicians and counseling professionals recommend a combination of medication management and counseling for the best results. Long-term solutions to mental health issues cannot be resolved solely by medication.
How do I know what we talk about will be private?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team, but your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written informed consent.
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
Fees allowed for mental health records.
A mental health professional may charge a "reasonable fee" for releasing mental health records, and the professional is not required to provide the records until the fee is paid unless there is a medical emergency. Unlike the Texas Medical Board, none of the mental health licensing boards have adopted a fee guideline, preferring instead to leave the question of what is "reasonable" to the individual provider.
Time to respond to a request for mental health records.
Upon receipt of a written request to obtain a copy of a patient's recorded mental health record, a mental health professional, has until the 15th day after the date of receiving the written request. The mental health professional must provide a copy to the patient after payment for the copy has been rendered, if requested, or inform the patient if the information does not exist or cannot be located due to expiration or other reason.