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What to Expect at Your First Family Therapy Session

Your first family therapy session is different from others. It is focused on situating your family in a new environment and providing your therapist with the necessary information to create a personalized treatment plan. This plan isn’t set in stone and is purposely crafted to change with your needs. Your life is always in motion, always shifting even when it seems to be in a constant state. Thus, your treatment will change to account for your family symptoms however they appear.

Review intake paperwork

If you haven’t already filled out any or all of your paperwork, your therapist may have you fill out intake forms for basic information. Ideally, all the forms will be completed online well before the first session. Your therapist should review the paperwork before meeting with you and already have a pretty good idea about presenting problems. During your initial conversation, your therapist will ask questions pertaining to the symptoms experienced by your family. 

Your therapist might send family members in and out of the room to get their unique perspective, allowing your therapist to create a holistic treatment approach. In some cases, it might be beneficial for some family members to have individual adult therapy or child therapy to treat symptoms than lend to the overall family issue.

Determine the appropriate plan moving forward

One of the major goals of your first session is to determine your family’s best approach to repairing the bonds that hold you together. This may entail alternating individual sessions with family sessions, adding couples therapy to the mix, or EMDR therapy sessions that help to reprocess difficult memories. Every family is so different from each other, and your therapist will tailor their treatment models to ensure your family gets the best fitting support.

Another component of your treatment is the length of each session, which is typically 50 minutes each, and the program itself. Your sessions might be ongoing or weekly up to a certain amount of months. Therapists typically don’t provide short-term treatment with pauses, and prefer to keep the therapeutic alliance consistent and strong as a long-term corrective experience.

During your sessions, all family members might be present or only a few at a time. Your therapist might also bring in a specific constellation of members for certain sessions, such as bringing all the adults together to discuss an issue specifically pertaining to them, or a parent and child who’ve been struggling to work through a complicated relationship.

Confirm this is the correct choice for your family

As your therapist identifies your symptoms and helps build a treatment plan, you should feel confident that your therapist will lead your family to a happier, healthier space where your bonds will strengthen and flourish.

Blackhawk Family Development Center

At Blackhawk Family Development Center, we offer treatment that goes beyond symptom relief by building relationships and supporting your entire family system. All treatments are personalized and fluid, meaning that as your family dynamic changes, so does your approach to strengthening your familial bond. Contact us today to schedule a family therapy intake session.