Parents often are unsure if they should be present when their children attend therapy sessions. Each practitioner has a different philosophy and the answer may depend on the age and diagnosis of the child. Here are some tips to consider:

  • A child is a part of a family and that context should be considered. A first visit to the psychiatrist or other professional might include a chat with the child, another with the parents and a third with the entire group.
  • Sometimes children open up when Mom and Dad are not around. This is especially true of teenagers and adolescents who may appreciate the privacy.
  • Younger children might be anxious without parents around. Sometimes a therapist can play and talk with the child while Mom or Dad is reading nearby.
  • Some behavioral problems can be addressed with the parent, instead of the child. The parent picks up tips and then tries them at home without saddling the child with the anxiety that might accompany an office visit.
  • Some children work best in peer groups. Check with your healthcare provider about available local resources.