What to Expect When Booking Your Teen in for Counselling

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What to Expect When Booking Your Teen in for Counselling

Booking your teen in for a counselling session can be both scary and exciting for all involved! Prior to booking the appointment, you will have already had an open conversation with your teen or them with you about wanting to go to counselling (or they will have talked to you about wanting to go to therapy) and you and your teen will have picked out a counsellor which they feel comfortable opening up to. As a parent, you might be confused about the process of booking your teen in for counselling. What can you expect in terms of communication between yourself and your teenager’s therapist? What do you need to know before the first session? And what can you expect to need to provide your therapist with prior to your teen starting sessions? This blog post is to help walk you through the process of what happens when your teenager starts counselling.

Edmonton-based therapists, Shaheen Alarakhia, Adam Sartore, and Juanita Marshall, help your teen dig deeper into what is going on for them in order to help them gain insights and tools for their everyday lives. Get to know our counsellors here and see which is the best fit for your teenager here.

What to Expect at Each Stage of the Counselling Process

Before the First Appointment

Before a therapist can talk to a teen directly, even for a consultation, we will need consent from all legal guardians to do so. This means that prior to speaking to your teenager, Holistic Healing Counselling will be sending you paperwork to ensure that all legal guardians consent to the teen coming to therapy and speaking with a therapist. This allows us to make sure everyone in the adolescent's life is on the same page. We know that all families look different so in some cases, we may require a court order that indicates that you have sole medical decision making. If all guardians will be attending the first appointment together with the teen, we can do the consent form together.

At the First Appointment

Whenever possible, it is ideal that all guardians attend the first appointment with the teen. You won’t need to stay for the whole appointment, but the start of the appointment will be where the guardian(s), teen, and therapist get to know each other, walk through the informed consent process, and establish boundaries that everyone is clear on. These topics can really set the tone for the teen’s journey in therapy. When we can have all guardians present, we are giving the teenager the best chance at success in their counselling journey.

The informed consent process occurs throughout counselling but the first session is everyone's first introduction to it. Informed consent goes through what you and your teenager expect from your teen’s therapist when it comes to confidentiality. When working with teens, it's essential that the adolescent knows that they are able to confide in their therapist. This means unless we are concerned about your teen's safety or the safety of someone else in their life, we will be encouraging your teen to talk to you directly about the content of their sessions. We want them to trust that what they say in therapy will be kept between them and their therapist.

The first appointment also gives us a chance for all parties to communicate their goals, hopes, and wishes related to counselling. This can be really helpful for guardians and their teenagers to begin communicating and understanding each other. It also allows the therapist to begin getting a sense of what is going on for the teenager and what might be helpful to begin to work on.

After the First Appointment

So what can you expect from your teen’s therapist in terms of communication? This is something that we like to establish with all parties present at the first appointment but generally speaking, your teen’s counsellor will be able to confirm/move appointments with you. Any communication between yourself and your teen’s therapist should be done with the teen present. This helps to foster trust between the therapist and your teen. That being said, if safety issues arise that have your teenager’s counsellor worried, they will notify the appropriate people. In some cases, that might mean they talk to you and in other cases that might mean they need to talk to someone else. This is determined on a case by case basis and your teen will always be aware of what is going on.

Sometimes, the teen might request that their guardians be present for some or all of a session to help us work on specific things. In this case, your teen and therapist might ask you to join in on all or some of a session. 

Family Counselling and Other Recommendations during the Counselling Process

On occasion, your teenager’s therapist might notice an opportunity for family growth. When this happens, with the permission of your teen, the therapist may refer you to family counselling or in some cases individual counselling. Although many people might feel worried about such a recommendation it is actually a great opportunity. We find that when teenagers and their families engage in counselling collaboratively, we are able to shift harmful patterns faster, learn to communicate with each other better and build healthier and happier families. 

Do you need more information on teen counselling? Use our contact form to get a hold of our certified therapists.

Welcome to Holistic Healing

Welcome to Holistic Healing

Meet our certified therapists, Adam, Selena, Juanita, Danielle, Kelsey and Shaheen. No matter what you want to work on, we have a therapist to help. Our Counsellors focus on helping you feel at ease by allowing you to feel heard and understood. By using a holistic, or whole picture approach, our trained Counsellors can help their patients live a happier, more authentic life. Our therapists offer adult counselling, couples counselling, and adolescent/teen counselling. Interested in learning more? Need to book a session? Contact Us here.


Live a Happier Life

Counselling doesn’t just have to be for those who have reached a crisis situation. If you want to live a happier life by discussing the issues that are causing you stress, anxiety, or fear, contact Holistic Healing today to book your free initial consultation.

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