The initial steps that lead to a therapy session for many families at Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health (C&A) are several - first receiving a referral from the school or the family realizing on their own there may be an issue; making the call; going through the Intake Process and the Assessment; and receiving a diagnosis. When those steps are completed, and if therapy is recommended your family is then matched up with a clinician to begin the difficult work of starting the healing process in clinical sessions.
What does a clinical office appointment look like?
A clinical appointment starts out similar to any other scheduled doctor’s appointment. Walking into one of C&A’s four office locations, you will let the front-desk receptionist know who you are here to see and give the receptionist your clinician’s name.
The receptionist will let the therapist know you are here. Your therapist, dressed casual or business casual, will come out and get you to go back to his/her office to start the one-hour session. If the session is just the child and the therapist, the therapist may ask the parent discreetly if anything new has happened since the last appointment in the office waiting room before taking the child back. If so, the clinician will make sure to meet with the parent/guardian. Otherwise, if this is a family appointment, the family will go back as one unit.
C&A clinician offices are decorated age appropriately. All offices are painted in bright, pastel colors – light blue, orange, mint green, purple and yellow. Clinicians seeing children age six and under may have stuffed animals, play toys and doll houses in their office. Clinicians seeing clients older than age 10 will have comfortable furniture, perhaps a table, chair or even a small couch.
What does a session consist of?
The session will usually start with a follow up to the previous session. For example, in a previous session, a clinician may have asked the client to work on a particular skill for that week. That skill will be reviewed. Questions around the skill may be asked. For example - how often did you practice that skill? Did you have the chance to use that skill this week? If so, when? And did this skill help?
The session will continue with the therapist asking if any new issues or concerns came up this week. Depending on the age of the client, a counseling session could include interactive play or media. This may include a workbook, video, craft or CD.
All therapy sessions are private. The clinician’s office door will be closed and oftentimes a machine evoking waves sounding like the ocean will be outside the office door as a second self-guard to prevent other people from accidentally hearing what is being said.
All clients will have individualized sessions with a specific therapist but some clients will also participate in group therapy sessions. A group session typically will last two hours. Group sessions average eight kids per group, offer a snack and last for four to six weeks.
Clients participating in group sessions are expected to participate each week. In group sessions, clients are working on skills in a peer-to-peer setting.
C&A has contracts with eight Stark County School Districts to offer school-based consultation. In this case, a C&A clinician is at the school to see the client for 45 minutes, the duration of a class. Typically, the student is not pulled out of a core class and most often the session is done during lunch or study hall. School-based therapy oftentimes works better for a family’s schedule.
To learn more about C&A and the services we offer, please contact 330.433.6075.