How do I tell my child or teen that I am taking them to therapy?
It is important that you avoid giving your child/teen the message that you are bringing them to therapy because something is wrong with them. Instead, parents can say something like: ” I love you very much, I want to help you. I have been trying and I don’t know how to. I want to go to counseling with you to get some ideas on how to: [ get along better, help you get better sleep, feel better about _______]”.
For younger kids, explain that when kids are not feeling well physically they go to a pediatrician, when they need glasses they go to the eye doctor, and when they are having trouble with emotions or behavior they go to a play therapist. Some children have counselors in their schools, so telling them that I am a counselor might make it easy to understand
What happens in the first session?
The first session is where I obtain background information about your child. Ideally, both parents attend the session, and I gather details about your child including family, medical, developmental, social, academic and of course presenting symptoms and concerns. I also explain my practice, confidentiality and answer any questions you may have. Your child is not present for this session.
Do you take insurance?
I am considered an “out of network” provider. I can provide a “superbill” that you can submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
Please keep in mind that in order for insurance to cover your child’s therapy sessions, your child needs to meet diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder. This diagnosis, as well as their treatment, becomes a part of your child’s permanent medical record. The diagnosis can then follow the child around in school, on to college and possibly become an obstacle when obtaining security clearances and background checks for future employment.
In addition, confidentiality can be jeopardized when billing claims to insurance companies. Your child’s confidential information is processed by the company and then stored in their system. Anyone involved in the processing or handling of the claim may have access to your child’s information.
You can also use your HSA (Health Savings Account) to pay for services.
DISCLAIMER: You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost. Under the law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services. You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees. Make sure your health care provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least 1 business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service. If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises.
Will you give my child medication?
I can not prescribe medication, I am not a medical doctor nor a psychiatrist. If you are interested in medication for your child, we can discuss this further and I can possibly refer you to a psychiatrist.
How long is treatment?
Treatment length varies due to many different factors, the severity of symptoms, consistency of sessions, participation, and involvement of parents. On average, I see my clients for about 12 sessions.
For play therapy specifically, are 7 phases of treatment, click here for additional information: https://www.a4pt.org/page/ParentsStagesofThera
How often are the sessions?
Usually, at the beginning of treatment, sessions are held once a week. Once there is steady progress being made, sessions can be spaced out to bi-weekly sessions, and eventually monthly sessions until treatment is completed.