Before meeting with a PBBHW behavioral health clinician: Consider carefully what you and your child want and need. Try to think through these questions:
• What are the problems or concerns in which you want help?
• Are you looking for individual or family therapy with a nonmedical or a medical person?
• Would you and your child be more comfortable with a male or female clinician?
• What style of interaction will you find most helpful?
• Will you and your child work better with someone who offers advice and direction in a structured way? Or someone who listens, solicits your thoughts and solutions, and offers guidance in an unstructured way? Or a combination? During the first meeting with your PBBHW behavioral health clinician:
Be honest and voice your concerns and questions directly to the clinician. Observe how your child and other family members respond during the meeting with the clinician. Ask your clinician these questions:
• What clinical areas the clinician identifies as crucial for you and your child?
• How often will you meet and for how long? What is your role as a parent in therapy?
• How will the proposed intervention address the issues or concerns?
• How will progress be evaluated?
• How is confidentiality handled?
After the first meeting with your PBBHW behavioral health clinician, think through these questions:
• Did you and your child feel as if you had been listened to?
• Were your feelings and those of your child, respected?
• Was there a sense of safety, support or understanding?
Listen to your instincts. While all of our clinicians are highly trained and experienced professionals, treatment with you and your child will not be effective if you and your child are not able to establish a partnership with your clinician.
Dr. Lee Ann Lehman
Licensed School Psychologist
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (1999). Your Adolescent. HarperCollins Publishers. New York, NY, p. 307-308.