Additional Info for Teens and their Parents or Guardians
On Getting Started
It is not uncommon for teens and their parents to feel uncertainty about starting therapy. It may be that your teen is asking for help and you are feeling some mix of afraid for them, frustrated that they won’t talk to you, or skeptical that therapy can help. It may also be that you know your teen needs help but they are frustrated, dismissive, or even angry that you want them to come to therapy. The whole process may be complicated by the fact that you are dealing with teachers, a school system, or other providers that all have recommendations or concerns.
My Approach with Teens
My approach to working with teens is to address their needs first and foremost while listening and valuing the perspectives of the most important people in their life. The worries of teens and their parents are valid and discussing those worries will be welcomed throughout the process. One of my central goals in working with teens and their families is to find a way for all of us to work towards shared goals.
What Information is Shared with Parents
My goal is to help facilitate discussions between teens and parents that are open and collaborative. I respect that teenagers are becoming more independent while at the same time parents retain certain responsibilities for their child. Goals and progress will be discussed together with teens and parents. I operate within Illinois law which protects the privacy of what is discussed in session by teens age 12 to 18 except in cases of emergency. I am happy to answer any questions that parents or teens have about what will be shared. When I am required to share personal information directly with parents I will do so with a full consideration of the impact on the teen client as well as my legal and ethical obligations.
Setting up a First Appointment for Your Teen
Call me at 312.925.6330 or email me to set up an initial appointment. At the first session we will review together the rights afforded to teens and their legal guardians under Illinois mental health laws and discuss my policies designed to meet these legal mandates. We will address issues such as how time is divided (meeting with teen, parents, all together), confidentiality, risk issues, and any request for communication with outside parties.
During the initial appointments I will meet with the adolescent alone and with parent(s) or guardian(s) present to discuss concerns and to allow us to get to know one another. The content of initial sessions will be similar to what is described in the What to Expect section . If we determine that it is a good match we will develop a treatment plan which will be shared with parents. I regularly discuss progress on treatment goals with teen clients and their parents.