• (562) 903-4800
  • counseling.center@biola.edu

What to Expect

Psychotherapy with a child or teenager begins with an evaluation process. Initially, the therapist will meet with parents or legal guardians to discuss reasons why therapy is being sought and to gather history about your concerns. The therapist will also have you complete some paperwork about your child’s development. The evaluation period will also involve two to three meetings between the child and the therapist. Additionally, the therapist may wish to speak with the child’s teacher, pediatrician/physician, youth pastor, or other important adults in your child’s life. These additional contacts are only made with consent of the parent or guardian.


Following completion of the evaluation period, a feedback session is provided. During this session, the therapist works with parents/guardians to set goals for treatment and to decide upon frequency of sessions. The therapist will also discuss a few behaviors to monitor in your child, as these behaviors provide valuable information regarding therapeutic progress. Older adolescents are sometimes included in this meeting.

The therapist will typically meet with your child/teenager once per week. The therapist will also want to meet with the caretaker approximately once every four weeks to discuss how your child is progressing. This meeting provides an opportunity for you to learn about your child’s progress in therapy and to discuss ways to work with your child or teen in order to enhance their progress. At times, practical parenting ideas are discussed. As we only meet with your child or teen an hour or two per week, we rely on parent sessions to learn more about how your child is doing at home, school, and with friends. We want to support you and to work with you to develop ways to best meet the needs of your child.

While this approach is typical, it is not always used. In some situations, your child’s therapist may want to meet with him or her immediately. In this case, the evaluation process will be postponed for a short time. Each therapist has his or her unique treatment approach that may result in some modifications to the plan outlined above. Your therapist is available to discuss the treatment plan with you. Remember, you are an important part of the treatment team!
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