For families new to my practice, I
typically conduct an evaluation of four sessions to develop a
treatment plan to address the presenting problems efficiently.
Session I – 90 minutes
I spend about 15 minutes introducing
myself and how I work. We discuss the limits of confidentiality,
how to reach me in an emergency, and how to engage any other persons
involved in the young person’s life. The next 30 minutes are with
the parent(s) and child together discussing present as well as any
past history. The remaining 45 minutes
are alone with the adolescent,
and then with the family together again.
Session II – 45 minutes
I spend this session alone with the
teen or young adult. I learn more about how the youngster thinks,
interprets the situation, and expresses feelings. We do an overview
of treatment strategies and discuss the personality assessment which
will take place during the third session.
Session III – 45 minutes
Parents are seen alone, while the
youth completes a series of paper-and-pencil questionnaires Some of
these assessments may include the Millon Adolescent Clinical
Inventories, the Suicide Orientation Inventory, the Personal
Problems Checklist, the Connors 3 Rating Scales, and the SASSI, a
self-report measure of substance abuse and/or other instruments.
Session IV – 45 minutes
The family is seen together OR the
parent(s) and child are seen separately for a discussion of the
outcomes and recommendations based on the sessions we have held.
Note that during the first three
evaluation sessions, we discuss the type of treatment approach which
might work best as well as the frequency of visits. Young people
may reduce the frequency of visits by demonstrating positive
behavior change. Not all teens require weekly psychotherapy visits,
and I encourage young people to empower themselves to become an
active, rather than a passive participant in their treatment