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19 S. Cameron Street, Winchester VA

First Counseling Session

The decision to start counseling is big and takes a lot of bravery. It's normal to feel overwhelmed or unsure about your first session. You and the child you love might be saying things you've never said out loud before or you may be unsure of what to say. Maybe you don't know what to expect. Here are some things to know about your first appointment:


  • Your first counseling session is called the assessment. Your pediatric therapist will be doing a lot of information-gathering, which can sometimes feel overwhelming. During the assessment, we focus not only on what has brought you into our office, but also the things that are going well for you- supportive family and friends, talents, passions. These things play a big part in your feeling better.

  • During the assessment both child and family will be offered an opportunity to each speak individually to the pediatric therapist to discuss any concerns that you would like to share in confidence.

  • Everyone's favorite thing, paperwork! You and your family will be filling out some forms about your background and personal information. Your therapist will also go over a document called the informed consent, which covers what you can expect in counseling- everything from your therapist's background, specialties, and credentials, to session fees, to confidentiality. It is very important to have an understanding of this document, so be sure to ask questions if anything is confusing.

  • The majority of the assessment will be an interview. Questions start from the very beginning at prenatal development all the way up to how you have been feeling most recently.

  • Toward the end of the assessment, or even at the start of your second session, you and your pediatric therapist will start to come up with a few goals. These are the things you and your family would like to focus on in counseling. Try visualizing at the end of effective treatment: How will you feel? What will have changed?

If you want to get a head start on the paperwork, you can print off and fill in the New Client Form and bring it with you to your first counseling session.

New Client Form

Cameron Pediatric Counseling, Inc.


19 S. Cameron Street, Winchester VA

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