Frequently Asked Questions
What Parents Often Want to Know
How Long Is This Going To Take?
Great question! The simple answer is: It depends. There are quite a few factors that contribute to change. Individual motivation, time available for treatment, therapeutic alliance, and environmental factors, to name a few. Some aspects I have little or zero control over. I can control my intention of offering space for teens to explore the stress, anxiety, and frustration that they are encountering and develop adaptive ways to cope.
Will I Have to Attend the Session?
One of my rules: I do not tell people what to do, professionally, at least. So, I will never tell a parent (or a teen) that they must attend the session. Attendance is necessary for change; however, the client and I will discuss how treatment will look based on my clinical recommendation and the client's preference. Since most of my clients (teens) are part of a larger ecology (their families), it may be necessary (and encouraged) to invite parents, siblings, aunties, etc., to the session. Like any other invitation, invitees can decline, which would be something the client and I can process in session.
What If My Teen Refuses?
During our consultation, you and I will discuss your perception of your teen's interest in counseling. Typically, even when my teen clients initially present as reluctant, after the first (sometimes second) visit, we generate a strong alliance, and there are no issues with interest in attending sessions. Autonomy and client right are paramount, and if your teen refuses treatment, even if I was willing to see them, I would not be effective. While we, as parents, can "make" our children do a lot, we cannot force them to speak.
Will You Tell Me What You Discuss With My Teen?
Generally speaking, no. The counselor/client relationship is founded on trust and confidentiality. The only way for counseling to be effective is for the client to trust the counselor, regardless of age. The ethical code of counselors, and HIPPA, requires counselors to keep all information confidential, except under particular circumstances. This is something that I cover with all families with which I work so that everyone is clear and comfortable as we work together.
What Ages Do You Work With?
My specialty and focus are ages 13 - 21, which is teen to young adult; however, I will work with teens as young as 10 and adults as mature as 60+. It is my experience that ages younger than 10 are best suited in a family model rather than an individual setting. These are things that we discuss during the consultation.
To schedule a free consultation, please visit my homepage and use the link provided.