What Can I Expect in Therapy?

Each psychologist at Arboretum Psychological Services is independent and is solely responsible for your care; however, there are some general approaches common to each of our practices.

The process of treatment typically begins with an intake meeting during which you discuss your concerns and goals for therapy. An intake meeting involves gaining a thorough history and allows the psychologist to determine whether or not she has the expertise needed to provide effective treatment.   The intake process is also intended to allow you to decide whether your provider is a good fit to your needs. Development of a treatment plan can take several sessions to develop initially and may be revised as needed over the course of treatment.

When working with children, it is very common for parents to be involved in at least some of the therapeutic work. The psychologist may include you in some or all of the sessions with your child depending on the issues at hand and goals for treatment. It is also common for “parent only” sessions to take place as part of your child’s treatment in order to revisit therapy goals, assess progress, increase parenting skills and supports, and ensure consistency.

When working with adolescents, it is more common for the majority of the session to be spent exclusively with your teen. However, even when working with adolescents, parent involvement is often important in enhancing treatment progress, improving parent-teen communication, and decreasing conflict. Whether or not parents are involved in session is determined by each psychologist and is dependent on a variety of factors. You can discuss this with your teen’s psychologist.

Each psychologist has her own unique set of skills, education and training. Some practices that may be incorporated into work with you or your child include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, and mindfulness-based therapies, among others. The types of therapy techniques employed by a psychologist vary depending on the referral issues, level of engagement and motivation of the client, and treatment goals.

Participating in therapy has the potential to yield many positive outcomes, such as improved relationships with family and peers, relief from distressing symptoms, improved emotion regulation and coping skills, and better school performance. However, participating in therapy is work. To achieve the best possible outcome for a child or adolescents, it is usually necessary for work to continue outside of session. It is not uncommon to have “homework” so that skills may be practiced outside the therapy office.