Choosing a therapist for your child to talk to is a serious decision and can feel both scary and overwhelming. Parents typically want to know “who is this person?” and “what are they going to tell my kid?”, or “what is my kid going to say about us?”. Commonly, parents can get tearful on the first call to us admitting they need help, feeling lost, and often wondering if they have done something wrong. We assure you that you are not alone and we are here to walk you through the process. As the owners of the practice, we can assure you that we are incredibly selective with who we bring into our treatment team. We only bring on therapists that we truly know, trust, and have both the clinical knowledge and the natural ability to connect/relate to people needed to be effective.
Counseling is a whole different world for parents that includes privacy (confidentiality), space, and time. At other doctors or therapies, parents can sit in the sessions and observe the appointment and it’s normal to ask their child a ton of questions about how it went. This provides relief for the parent because they are able to know what the professional is saying and confirm that their child is providing all of the “necessary and accurate information”. In order for the counseling process to be effective, it is crucial that the child/teen feels they trust their therapist and know that what they share (pending nothing dangerous) in their individual sessions remains between them and their therapist and that their parents will respect that space. It’s essential to the process.
What Does Therapy at Blueprint Look Like?
Everyone comes to therapy for different reasons, so there is no cut-and-dry description of exactly what therapy looks like. It’s important to know that therapy takes time. While we live in a fast, outcome-based society, it’s important to know that when starting therapy it’s unlikely to see “immediate relief, results, or change.” Rather than diving head first into the presenting problems, we work on establishing a genuine connection and earning your child’s trust. This is what we call the connection phase of therapy. At Blueprint, we’ll take it slow and focus on getting to know all of your child. Their interests, their hobbies, their favorite music, etc. We find that by establishing this connection first, it’s much more comfortable to open up and talk about the hard stuff. Some kids come in and want to talk immediately, others require a lot more connection-building to ease into the process. Our therapists might use various interventions, such as games, arts and crafts, or bracelet making, to meet your child where they are at and form a foundation for effective therapy.
Sounds good. What next?
Once a connection is established, out therapist works with your child to better understand what’s going on and their presenting concerns. This assessment phase is an ongoing process and can take various sessions to complete. Our therapist will work together with you and your child to identify their own individual treatment goals.
Sessions then consist of integrating these goals while also making sure that your child talks about whatever they feel they need for that day. We call this getting into it.
In addition to your child’s individual goals, all of us at Blueprint will help your child to:
- Identify their emotions and help them better understand where they are coming from.
- Identify their thoughts and help to practice healthy thinking patterns.
- Teach various coping skills and techniques to manage strong emotions.
- Help them control their behavior and better understand what it’s rooted in.
- Help them express and communicate their emotions in a healthy way.
- Help them build resilience and problem-solving skills.
- Provide a space for them to simply come in, be themselves, and have someone to talk to.
We want to be involved! What does parent involvement look like?
As parents/guardians your input and involvement are incredibly valuable. We try to maintain a delicate balance of maintaining our alignment with your child/teen while also involving you and keeping you in the loop. Depending on the age of the child, their willingness/want to have parents involved, and the dynamics at home, parental involvement looks different for everyone. The beginning of therapy is spent establishing a connection with your child and requires the space to do so. Once a connection is established, we can integrate parents more. We promise that if we are ever concerned about your child’s safety we will not sit on our hands. During your child’s treatment, family sessions/parent sessions will occur as needed with the above factors taken into consideration. That being said, please don’t be shy to ask your therapist questions or share concerns you have!
What if my kid isn’t open to therapy?
Let’s be honest- therapy is not the first place some kids or teens want to be. Human experience has shown more often than not, things can be harder in our heads than in our actual life. Maybe your child/teen has had a bad experience with a therapist in the past and now has a bad aftertaste for therapy. Maybe they don’t know what to expect, are scared, or are afraid of being judged. Maybe it’s a power battle because it feels like their parents are forcing it. We will take it slow and take great care to help correct any negative past experiences in therapy. If your child isn’t open, we will give it our best shot to simply focus on connecting with them and forming a positive relationship. At the same time, we don’t believe in stringing anyone along or forcing therapy on anyone at any age. After we’ve given it our best shot, if your child is still not open to the process, we will talk with you about options and the next steps.
What if my kid isn’t talking about what I think they “should” be?
It is natural for parents to have a vision in their mind’s eye of how they want their children to look, act, behave or even feel at times. We appreciate this and understand how when your child’s behavior does not meet that vision it can drive concern or distress in the family and relationships. Often, what parents find concerning (homework, vaping, screen time, how late they stay up, etc) kids don’t find concerning or they don’t want to talk about it. Maybe they are not ready to face certain topics, maybe they need more time to become comfortable and vulnerable, or maybe they genuinely don’t think it’s a big deal which is typically age-appropriate. At the same time, what is a big deal in their life at the current moment, you might not think is worthy of their therapy session at all. While we will take your concerns, input, and goals for them quite seriously, our goal is to help meet your child or teen where they are at and provide them a space they can begin to express themselves genuinely. Once a teen feels a therapist is aligned with their parents they are typically turned off to the process- understandably so. We will attempt to bring your concerns to the table and explore them, however, we will not force anyone to talk about something they are not ready to or don’t want to. We work to help your child understand where their behavior could be coming from and help them to decide for themselves whether it is something they see negatively impacting their life or not.
The most frequently asked question – Do you guys accept insurance?
We are out of network. Let us be straight with you and explain why.
Ever heard the phrase that “cheap tattoos aren’t good, and good tattoos aren’t cheap?” It’s kinda like that.
There are two main reasons we are out of network with insurances:
1. We care about clinical quality. We care about taking the time to get to know you. We care about helping you or your child feel comfortable, instead of asking a ton of invasive questions in order to provide a detailed rationale to insurance for them to cover therapy.
Insurance is outcome-oriented. That’s not how mental health works. They don’t take into account the process, the relationship, the nature of mental health therapy.
We believe in the integrity of working together with you to define your treatment goals instead of being at the hands of what the insurance company is telling us we need to provide them.
2. We care about our team and all of our livelihoods. It’s simple- believe in treating our team well. We are not the practice trying to “get a ton of clients”. There are practices out there offer low rates to get people in the door at the sacrifice of quality of care and taking the best care of their clinicians. This leads to quick turnover. The unfortunate reality is that Insurance Companies do not reimburse mental health therapists with reasonable rates. We’re just not about that, so yes, our sessions are pricey because we know our therapists worth and stand behind the quality of care Blueprint provides.
Most importantly, we believe in the work that we do and ground ourselves in the commitment to build a relationship, get to know you, and help you work through whatever it is that brought you to us in the first place. To always give you the best we got and so right by our clients. Insurance does not allow the time for this because it’s not considered “medically necessary”.
So there ya go. There’s why we are, and will remain, out-of-network therapists and the truth behind why so many of us have chosen to go in that direction.
That being said, we understand not everyone is able to go out of network for therapy. We would never want therapy to be a financial stressor and do not recommend to start if it’s potential to infer any hardships as therapy can be a lengthy process.
What If I Have Out of Network Benefits? Great! We provide a document called a Superbill to each client. This superbill contains all the information insurance requests for out-of-network reimbursement. Whether or not your insurance reimburses you is based on your individual insurance plan.
The rate per service varies depending on the clinician and service.
Rates per service range from $170 per session to $225 per session.
Reduced Rate Counseling may be available when Blueprint’s Junior Varsity therapists (Graduate School Interns) have availability.
Additional Options at Blueprint Specifically for Parents
Drop-In Parent Consults:
Although your child might be the primary reason you’re coming to Blueprint, parents benefit from receiving support too. Often there are changes that can be made on your end to strengthen the communication/relationship with your child while also improving your responses to their behavior. We have therapists at Blueprint that have expertise in family dynamics and working with parents. It’s common for our therapists to recommend parents schedule a “drop-in” session with either of us (Michele or John), or with Leah or Jason, Blueprint’s Clinical Advisors. These “drop-in” sessions are a space for parents to receive support and direct feedback on how you can best respond to your child’s behavior, decrease power battles, talk through your own worries, or learn strategies how to improve communication with your child. They are intentionally scheduled with a neutral therapist so they do not interfere with your child’s individual therapy. “Drop in’s” are especially helpful when parents are on different pages or have different approaches with their child. Your child does not have to be a client of Blueprint to take advantage of this service. For even more information about Drop In Consults, click here.
Drop-In Family Therapy:
Michele specializes in family therapy and provides this option to have a neutral person and space for teens and parents to communicate and work directly on their relationship. This is often recommended when there is high conflict or general difficulty communicating with each other. These sessions are in addition to your child’s therapy and can be scheduled on an as-needed basis by reaching out to our Client Relations Team. Parents who take advantage of this report these sessions to be incredibly helpful and effective.
Individual Therapy for Yourself/Couples Therapy:
We cannot emphasize this enough- your mental health matters and your kids learn and absorb from your feelings, energy, and relationships. Depression, anxiety, raising kids in this generation, and generally feeling the stress of life can be overwhelming. It is just as important to take care of yourself as it is for you to take care of your kids. It’s common for parents to work with another Blueprint therapist for their own counseling, or to see Michele for Couple’s Therapy.
Moving Up and On…
At Blueprint, we work hard to gain the trust of our clients, their families, our community, and our colleagues, to demonstrate our dedication to helping children and teens face some of their more difficult challenges. Whether it be in life, love, school, mental health, family, you name it, this is and has been our mission and those that know us and have worked with us can expect this to show. This generation is our world, and now, that world is expanding. Children and adolescents, like it or not, grow up and in doing so, face new challenges in our changing world that may impact their mental health and well-being. We are here for it and here for the changing needs that come with life transitions. Check out our Young Adult and Not So Young Adult Page for more information.
BOOK A FREE CONSULT CALL TO ANSWER ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS
If you would like to get started or have questions you would like answered, please schedule a free consult call below. You will be contacted at the time you choose by one of our client relations reps, Helen, Scott, or Sam. All of these guys know our practice inside and out and will be able to answer all of your questions and pair you with the clinician on OUR TEAM who is the most clinically appropriate for your needs. For more detailed information on what to expect, please visit our How to Get Started page.