Diagnostic assessment is a process of evaluation and goal setting that takes place over the first few sessions. It is an opportunity for your therapist to learn about you and the presenting issue, as well as a chance for you to ask questions and gauge the goodness of fit with your therapist. Please see our “how to choose a therapist” page for more on this.
The person doing your intake (first session) and assessment (first few sessions) will usually be your treating therapist. Sometimes, a therapeutic issue is a better fit for another therapist and if that is the case you will be offered a referral to a different therapist. Our priority is to provide you with a good fit in a therapist to help you meet your needs as quickly and easily as possible.
Most intake sessions consist of:
- an introduction between you and your therapist
- brief description of what you hope to achieve in therapy
- a discussion of privacy laws, clinic policy, and fees
- some collection of personal and family history
- therapeutic recommendations and a mutually agreed upon plan for how to proceed
For minors attending individual therapy, you can expect some portion of the first session to be spent with parents in the room (minimally discussion of privacy laws, clinic policy, and financial concerns) and some time to be spent with the minor and therapist alone. This will vary depending on the therapist, age of the child, and presenting issue.