Child and Adolescent Therapy
For younger children, parents only are required to attend the initial meeting or intake session. This session lasts about 90 minutes and all concerned parents/ guardians may attend this session. Those legally responsible for the child will complete the initial intake information and consent for treatment forms. All concerned adults (and teens) will then meet with me in the large family room. During this meeting I am gathering information in all areas of the child's and family's life. At the end of the first session, I give you feedback as to what I see going on and what I hear as your initial concerns. At this time we begin to establish a comprehensive treatment plan to meet your child's needs.
Other professionals may need to be contracted, and various assessments may need to be conducted in order to gather more data and make an effective treatment plan. I will make referrals to other professionals as needed. This may be an overwhelming and confusing process for parents and guardians. I am pleased to assist in this process and serve as a coordinator for gathering the information needed for effective psychotherapy to reach the desired outcome.
After the intake session with the parents and sometimes after some assessment or other data has been gathered, the appropriate type of individual child therapy may be determined. At this time, an initial meeting with the child is scheduled. Prior to the initial session with the child, parents are coached on how to explain the visit to the child in order to create a positive and comfortable environment. Although this initial process may appear lengthy, I believe that it provides children with the least amount of exposure to adult professionals which may stir very tender and sensitive issues for children.
The first 4 to 6 individual child therapy sessions are spent building rapport with the child, and establishing the focus for sessions with the child.
Parents are kept informed of the process of therapy with family update meetings. Depending on the age of the child and the nature of the issues for therapy, children may be present for these meetings. Children will be informed that these meetings are to occur. These meeting may be conducted by telephone, in separate family sessions, or at the end of an individual child therapy session.
Individual child therapy sessions last about 45-50 minutes. Parent update time may be taken at the end of this regular session time. Any parent update time is part of the regular 45-50 minute session.
Parents are encouraged to leave confidential voicemail messages for Dr. Oldham with updates, concerns or progress prior to the next individual meeting. Depending on the nature of the concern, this information may be discussed with the parent and child prior to the start of the child's individual session.
Every effort is made to reserve after school hours for child therapy sessions. It may become necessary to coordinate times during the school day that it would be appropriate for a child to miss some school for sessions. This is determined on a case by case basis, and assistance may be provided to coordinate this with the school.