I began my career working with youth outpatient treatment teams spanning from early childhood, to late teens and young adulthood. Obviously, across that developmental spectrum, therapy looks quite different.
In all cases, I prefer parents to be participants in therapy as they are the youth's "therapist for life." As I work with youth over time, their need for therapy with me fades out both as their issues improve or resolve, and as parents feel empowered to know how to be both support and change agents in their child's life.
For very young children, the primary focus will be on parent empowerment and strategy and confidence building. If strict individual therapy is sought for very young children, this would necessitate a play therapy facility which I do not have.
With young children, parents are often included on most, if not all, therapy sessions.
For older children and teens, initial sessions are with parents and child present. Following sessions will likely be a combination of teen alone, parents alone, and sessions with these parties together, with the exact format of that varying on client concerns and the present family dynamic.
For all youth related initial appointments, I request that parents complete the Y-OQ assessment in addition to the general intake paperwork. Please complete this assessment based on your observations of your child. For older children or teens, I also ask that they too complete the questionnaire based on their own perspective of how they are feeling and doing.