Who attends the initial appointment?
Ideally, all primary caregivers attend the initial appointment. In general, middle-school-aged children and teens are always present for the initial evaluation appointment. Elementary-age children and preschoolers may or may not be present at the initial appointment depending on the provider’s recommendation, reason for referral, and parental preference.

What should I bring to the initial appointment?
Please bring completed initial paperwork: patient history questionnaire and patient information form; the child’s insurance card; and a method of payment. Please also bring the contact information for your child’s pediatrician and other existing health providers. Finally, if your child has ever had a psychological assessment privately or through school, please bring a copy of that report.

What should I tell my child about meeting with a therapist?
Explanations for children are most helpful when provided in age-appropriate language. For younger children, explaining that they will be meeting with a therapist who helps children with their feelings and behaviors is usually sufficient. Some children may further benefit from being told that the therapist will talk to them and may play with them (no shots!). Pre-teens and teens can usually understand that they are going to see a doctor to help them with the emotional or behavior difficulties with which they have been struggling.

What should I tell my child about psychological assessment?
The goal of psychological assessment is to better understand a child’s academic, emotional, and/or behavioral strengths and weaknesses. This understanding can help them perform better in school and have better relationships with their family and friends. The assessment day consists of several hours where the child will be asked to perform a variety tasks, some similar to school tasks and some unfamiliar tasks. Some portions of the assessment will feel easy while others portions will feel hard. It is not possible to get all the questions right. The most important goal of testing is for the child to put forth his/her best effort.

Why do I have to wait for my initial appointment?
New patients are admitted into the practice as space permits. Unlike consults with other medical specialists, therapists generally meet with clients for a series of subsequent appointments. The initial wait is to ensure that follow-up appointments are available.

Will I need to take my child out of school for appointments?
It is possible that you will have to take your child out of school for some appointments. Psychological assessment appointments and most initial evaluation appointments are scheduled in the morning hours to assure that children are well rested. Ongoing therapy appointments are scheduled during available times, sometimes these will occur during school hours.

Will my child be prescribed medication?
Psychologists do not prescribe medication.   However, some emotional and behavioral troubles do benefit greatly from the use of medication. In this case, referral to your child’s pediatrician or to a child/ adolescent psychiatrist for medication consultation will be made.

How long will treatment take?
The length of therapy depends on the severity and complexity of the problem areas. Your doctor will continuously update you on the progress of treatment. Please do not hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have about the duration or course of treatment.

Does StrongMinds accept health insurance?
StrongMinds does accept selected health insurance plans for many of our services. Our receptionist can provide you with a current list of insurance plans with which we are in-network. Our staff will submit insurance claims on your behalf to insurance plans for which we are in-network. If StrongMinds does not participate with your insurance plan, you can still be seen by a StrongMinds provider. We will charge our customary fee at the time of the appointment and supply you with a receipt that you may submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement. StrongMinds does not participate in Medicare or Medicaid.

When is payment due?
Payment is due at the time services are delivered.

Will our appointment be confidential?
StrongMinds health providers and staff hold your family’s information in strict confidentiality and in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

What do I tell my child’s school?
You may find it helpful to disclose to your child’s school personnel (e.g., teacher, counselor, principal) that he/she is participating in behavioral health treatment or undergoing a diagnostic evaluation. In most occasions, it is useful for the school to have this information as it aids in the coordination of services. In other circumstances, families prefer to maintain privacy around behavioral health treatment. If you have concerns about whether to share information with your child’s school, please consult with your StrongMinds doctor/therapist.