As part of my ethical code of conduct, I maintain strict practices in order to ensure the confidentiality of our sessions. If I encounter you in the community, I will not engage you in conversation to protect the privacy of our relationship. However, you are not bound by the same restrictions and you may interact with me if you would like. With your written consent, I will communicate with primary care physicians and other mental health professionals about your care. Alternatively, I will respect if you prefer to keep your therapy sessions confidential.
In working with children, I am very open with parents about the topics and emotions discussed in therapy. It is essential to maintain good lines of communication, so that insights into the child’s behavior can be shared and parents have an understanding of what their child may need differently in terms of their parenting style. In some sessions, parents remain in the office with their child for the entire hour; while in other sessions, I meet individually with children for therapy and then provide feedback to parents at the end of the hour. Generally speaking, children are comfortable with the idea that parents need to be involved and they do not have an expectation of privacy.
My therapeutic approach is somewhat different for adolescents than for younger children. Adolescents are often reluctant to participate in therapy and need to establish a deeper trust with me in order to feel safe opening up. Developmentally, it is also a time when adolescents are naturally pulling away from their parents in an effort to become more independent. As a result, I find it is important to create a private environment where adolescents can share freely without concern that I will disclose personal details to their parents. However, I still incorporate parents in the process of therapy by meeting with them periodically to discuss their concerns. In addition, I often facilitate sessions between parents and adolescents in order to build trust and mutual understanding and improve patterns of communication.