As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I try to work
with the family whenever possible. Of course, depending on the
age of the client, I involve the parents to a greater or lesser
In the case of younger children, I work individually with the
child, using play therapy techniques to create a safe environment
for them to express their feelings. While confidentiality for
all clients, regardless of their age is a legal and ethical mandate,
I believe that meeting with the parents of younger children on
a regular basis is important in order to assess progress outside
of my sessions with the child.
With adolescence, parent involvement is also very important, but
because the developmental task of adolescents is to begin to separate
from their parents in order to prepare for adulthood, I involve
the adolescent in the decisions related to parental sessions as
much as possible.
I have found that parents are often concerned about safety issues
regarding their children in therapy and the impact of confidentiality
on the safety of their child. As part of my initial meeting with
prospective clients, I explain the limits of confidentiality and
my commitment to informing parents whenever I believe their child
is a danger to him/herself or others.