The first of anything can bring about anxieties and fears. This is especially true when beginning a new therapeutic relationship. While each therapist’s procedures for an intake will vary by individual and practice, there are some general things to expect.
Most therapists will provide you with intake paperwork electronically to complete before the session. This paperwork will include a consent to allow your child to participate in play therapy, HIPAA privacy laws, and mandatory reporting. It should also include policies and procedures explaining things such as communication, scheduling, and billing. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the paperwork, please bring them to your therapist’s attention.
Building a therapeutic rapport with the therapist is just as important for you as it is for your child. During the intake, it is your opportunity to begin building that relationship. Again, for most therapists this will be a one-on-one session without the child present. This allows for open communication about the current struggles and concerns. I encourage you to be completely honest with your therapist about what you feel and see the issues are. The more details and examples you can provide, the more accurate the treatment plan can be.
The therapist will ask you questions concerning your child’s history, even before birth. Depending on the therapist, they may even ask you questions about your childhood and family growing up. These questions assist the therapist in forming a whole picture about your child and family.
EXPLAINING THE PROCESS:
During the intake session, the therapist will explain what will happen next. They will discuss things such as meeting your child, how sessions will be structured, when and how often communication with you will occur. This is another opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the play therapy process.
Some therapists also like to set treatment plan goals during the intake session, while others prefer to do this in a later parent consultation session. Your input is essential to this process, as your observation will help to establish future progress toward these goals.
While this is a lot of information to cover in the first session, this will provide the groundwork and structure for your child’s play therapy journey.
If you are interested in scheduling an intake session for your child, contact us.