What to expect

During the first/intake session we'll discuss confidentiality and it's limitations, review informed consent, and discuss the reason for seeking treatment at this time.  I will also gather information about the clients mood, a brief family history, academic/work and interpersonal functioning, along with any past or present trauma.


For clients who are Children: I let you, the parents/guardians, decide if you want them to be present for the intake session or not. Sometimes parents find it easier to speak more freely without their child there, while others want their child present from the beginning. You know your child and family best.  

For Pre-Teen and Teen clients: I prefer them to be present during the initial session to start engagement from the beginning.

For family therapy clients:  I believe that we must start with all family members present.  If there is a unique scheduling challenge we can speak about that prior to the first session.  

For children/teens,  I will then meet with the client alone for several sessions to assess numerous areas of functioning while taking into account the current reason for seeking treatment.  I will be assessing their ability to regulate their emotions and handle stress and frustration, their emotional vocabulary/intelligence, how they separate from their caregiver, communication style, social skills, and overall affect or observed mood.  Risk and safety assessments are also conducted on an on-going basis.  

After an assessment has been complete I will speak to you about any diagnosis that will be made and will provide both you and your family a full explanation of what the diagnosis (if any) means, how it will be treated, and together we will identify what the goals for treatment are.  Children are involved in this discussion as well and everything will be explained to them in an age appropriate way.  

During treatment, I may utilize talk therapy techniques, play therapy, sandtray therapy, or a combination of them to reduce any concerning behaviors that are present in order to meet our therapeutic goal.  Sessions with the parents/guardians alone are also provided and treatment is tailored to each individual. Collaboration with school personnel can also be provided with written parent/guardian permission. 

What is Play & Sandtray Therapy?