What happens during the first session?
This article discusses what happens during your first consultation with a Quirky Kid Psychologist; what to expect and the steps that follow after your first visit.
All initial sessions are parent only consultations and last for 50 minutes. This is a very important step towards clearly understanding your concerns and formulating a case plan for your child. Please bring a pen and paper as you may need to take some notes.
Initially, you will be invited to complete a detailed intake form, read and sign a consent form and agree with the terms and conditions of service.
Soon after, your psychologist will invite you into the consulting space where answers to questions relating to your child's history and current presentation; your family history; and what you would like to achieve by starting psychological intervention or completing an assessment will be answered.
By the end of your first session you will likely have:
- Provided useful background information;
- Agreed on your initial therapeutic or assessment goals;
- Defined a list of priorities.
It is very important that you be prepared for your first session by having a clear summary of your concerns. Try to be objective and informative. Be open and honest about your feelings and be prepared to work as part of a team.
- What happens next?
The next step is to meet with your child. The child session is essential for building rapport and to understand things from the child's perspective. All of our psychologists are trained and skilled in engaging young people with a range of mediums, not only talking.
Soon after the child session the psychologist will make some recommendations that often involve a series of 6 sessions with your child; or the use of standardised assessments and case conferences with other people involved in your child's care.
- What NOT to expect from your first session?
A psychologist is not able to provide you with a diagnosis after the first session. In fact, a diagnostic assessment may involve many sessions, observations and a range of tests.
Your psychologist won't be able to provide you with a 'quick fix' on how to resolve the problem either. Most therapeutic interventions will require regular collaboration with the parent and other people involved in the child's care.
Effective treatment almost always involves a cycle of intervention > collaboration > monitoring > evaluation > intervention.
- Is a report included in the first sessions?
No, a report or a letter is not included in the first session. You should review our article on billing for more information.