The Need for Children and Adolescents to have Confidential Psychotherapy
As a parent or guardian of a child receiving psychotherapy, I will involve you in helping your child to the fullest extent possible. However, the content of your child’s sessions must be confidential in order to enable your child to confide in me and for therapy to be effective.
In treatment of adolescents, there are many issues that therapists have no opportunity to address unless adolescents trust that communication in therapy will not be shared with parents or guardians. These issues include use of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs, sexual behavior, sexual orientation, involvement in gangs, ditching/truancy, school failure, peer involvement that parents do not approve of, and criminal activity. I am committed to work to help him/her behave in ways that are not self-destructive, that do not limit his or her options for the future, facilitate healthy decision-making, and that are considerate to the needs and feelings of others.
Children and adolescents in psychotherapy benefit from having a support system, including family, friends, a supportive school environment, and in some cases, religious affiliations. Expressive activities, such as play, art, writing, music, exercise, are also important for the mental health of children. Other treatment modalities such as family therapy, group therapy, 12 step groups, support groups, and medication may be helpful. Referrals can be provided to help develop a support system at your request.
Treating Children of Separated or Divorced Parents
In families of separation and divorce, children’s psychotherapists work to help them cope adaptively with the forces acting upon their lives. Treating children in these contexts is difficult because:
1. Both parents usually have different views of the forces acting upon the child or adolescent and their needs.
2. Parents’ views may be affected by their own psychological experiences, issues, needs, and experiences with one another.
3. Both parents usually fear that the child’s psychotherapist will side with the other parent.
4. Both parents usually fear that the child’s psychotherapist will make custody or visitation recommendations that are not in the best interest of the child or parent.
I have advanced training and experience in tween, pre-teen and adolescent psychotherapy. I also work closely with parents for optimum benefit, while still maintaining the confidentiality of your adolescent. Please feel free to contact me for a brief phone or email consultation on how therapy can truly help with the struggles your teen or preteen is experiencing.