Tell your child that they are visiting a talking doctor, an expert who helps them to solve their problems and feel happier.
Tell them going to see a psychologist does not mean that they are crazy, and it is not a punishment.
The first meeting will usually include parents, to help to become familiar with the process of talking about problems.
Tell your family that counseling is to help you all get along better, and be happier as a family.
One family member may be singled out as the problem, and meetings with the entire family will use everyone’s help.
If you have to, you can tell your family that their presence was requested.
Or your can tell them that you would like them to attend in order to help you improve the family.
Everyone in the family should attend at least the first family session.
Each family member is affected by the family functioning, and each has an important view of (and role in) the problem and the solution.
This way, all of the family can benefit from the time, and improvements are often faster.
If someone doesn’t feel involved, this is a good chance to invite their participation.
Usually someone can be convinced to attend at least one session.
It is at times helpful to agree to bargain for some appropriate reward for coming.
Once a person has a chance to see how therapy works, they are usually more willing and motivated to continue meetings with a focused plan and goals of their choice.
No one can be forced to benefit from therapy.
The first session is to get acquainted, and to give your views about whatever problems have brought you to therapy.
Any information or questions you have are appropriate and will be helpful.
A plan to proceed with further assessment, or to begin treatment, will be decided during the first session.
You will be asked to discuss your reason for coming to counseling, and your goals or expectations.
It will help to explore your presenting problems, and the doctor will listen to anything you have to say about yourself and your difficulties.
Try to be as honest and direct as you can about your thoughts and feelings.
Many people are nervous at first, but relax quickly once they get started.
Don’t worry about being technical or judged.
We respect you for asking for help.
Any information which might be related to your problems will be helpful.
This might include report cards or test scores, or reports from physicians or other professionals.
Bring any insurance information needed to file claims.
There are no “stupid” questions.
The more open and honest you are, the better we can help you.
Let us know of any way we can assist you or make you more comfortable during the meetings.
The doctor will speak only with people who you give us written permission to talk to.
This includes obtaining information, as well as the release of any information.
You may tell anyone you wish.
Your privacy is important, and is protected by law (HIPAA, as well as other federal and state laws).
The office is soundproofed, and in a quiet professional setting.
Some changes happen quickly, but most require time and effort to address.
Your progress will be discussed each time we meet.
Give it a chance.
Sessions are not always weekly, and how often we meet will depend on your pace of life and your needs to work on solutions between meetings.
Whenever you’re ready.
Usually this is when goals are achieved or problems solved, and you feel satisfied and don’t need meetings anymore.
You can always come back, even for a single session, if you should ever decide you need to.
All insurance sold in Massachusetts must offer benefits for mental health services.
Check your policy to see whether your insurance pays for services in full, or requires you to pay a co-pay fee or deductible.
Some plans require a prior approval, or that you use certain providers from a list.
We will file claims for you, but you are responsible for the fee.
We do expect you to pay your estimated portion when we meet.
See the insurance page for more information.
A doctor (not a medical doctor) who has completed graduate school and passed state licensing requirements to demonstrate their competence in clinical psychology and clinical methods and procedures.
We specialize in children, adolescents, and family work, including adult therapy.
See the psychologist page for further information.
Research has shown that therapy does produce positive results.
There are many different strategies and approaches.
The doctor is a consultant to help you solve problems and build skills.
We can offer constructive strategies, and help you to achieve your potential in learning, emotion, inter-personal relationships, and other areas.
We will be glad to let you know if (and how) we can be helpful.
If you have other questions not covered by the above FAQ's, please contact Cranberry Counseling, P.C. by:
Phone: 781-837-5344, or