What to Expect During the First Session of Counseling for my Teen

Seeking out counseling for your children is a difficult undertaking. It is so wise and admirable to build an army of supportive, healthy adults to speak into your child’s life, but a leap of faith to select those people. There is somewhat of a sequence to the counseling process, but each family has different needs and personalities. Typically, the first session is split between meeting individually with your teenager and then with the adults in the teenager’s life. At the conclusion of the session, we will all come together and summarize the goals for treatment, repeat the boundaries of confidentiality and our general treatment plan of how frequently we will be meeting and who will be a part of the process. What is accomplished during the first session: It is vitally important to build a trusting relationship with your teenager and acknowledge them as a person with both strengths and weaknesses. I am serving in some ways as their advocate throughout the counseling process, therefore I spend time during that first session getting to know them as a person. This could include their likes, dislikes, sexuality, spirituality, social experiences and what they are expecting from their time in counseling. I emphasize that our time together is THEIR time and they are able to express anything they feel comfortable sharing and keep private anything they would prefer not to share. I clearly explain the boundaries of what is kept confidential to both the teenager and the parent and answer any questions regarding those boundaries. When meeting with the parent, I gather a history of the client’s past experiences emotionally, spiritually and physically that may pertain to their strengths and weaknesses. I explore family history of substance abuse, childhood abuse or neglect and experience in therapy. As it pertains to your child, I will share the approach to your needs and explore your expectations of the treatment process. The parents’ fears and desires are just as important to the healing process and time will be allotted as needed. There are occasions when sessions need to be scheduled for 90 mins or 2 hrs in order to fully serve the family. Coming together with both the parent(s) and teenager in the room, we will have a general concept of what we will focus on initially and how we will proceed. Call to schedule an appointment for yourself today at 904-357-0536 or email at emilykateyi@gmail.com .