Teens and young people
What is therapy like?
If you’ve never seen a psychologist or counselor before, you might be wondering what will happen when you come in for your first appointment. Here’s some information that will help you get the most out of your sessions:
In the first session
In your first appointment we will ask you lots of questions to get to know you and to work out how we can help. Sometimes we might use creative strategies to get to know you such as using games, drawing or pictures. Usually in the first few sessions we will also talk to your parents to get their view on things.
It can be hard at first
It can be really hard to see a psychologist for the first time, because emotional things can be hard to talk about. Our goal is to listen to you with empathy and without judgment. If you get upset or teary in the session don’t worry, this can happen sometimes. And it is OK.
You are in charge
Our aim is to understand how you see things and to work with you to make the changes you want to see in your own life. These are your sessions, and you get to set the agenda based on what is important to you. Therapy works best when you have some ideas about how you want things to be different and we work together to make the change happen.
What if I don't want to attend therapy?
Sometimes it can be hard to attend a session with a psychologist if wasn’t really your idea to come to see us. Perhaps you feel like there isn’t really a problem, or that seeing a psychologist wouldn’t really help you. Perhaps it is the suggestion of your parents or of your school counselor. This can be a tricky situation for everyone to manage. Just so you know, when you come in to see us, our goal is to listen to and understand you, and to find out ways to help make your life better. Although the opinions and views of family members is important, in the end it is your view that counts.
Is it confidential?
Confidentiality is really important to us. We want you to be able to talk to us about what is going on, confident in the knowledge that we will preserve your privacy. But there are limits to this – if we are concerned about potential harm to yourself or to someone else we will need to tell other people (such as your parents).
Parents/guardians/grandparents are an important source of help and support. Sometimes it is useful to involve these people in therapy – if they know what is going on they can help you and encourage you. We will negotiate with you about what we need to discuss with your parents, and how best to involve them.