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What to Expect

Choosing to allow someone to enter your family’s life with the hope that they can help is an incredibly brave, but often uneasy decision. We recognize that picking up the phone is the first step and we are committed to partnering with you to ensure your child and family gets the best treatment possible. The relationship formed over time should be an open one built on trust and mutual respect. With this in mind, all new parents/guardians will receive a 20 minute free phone consultation prior to scheduling their first appointment. We do this in an effort to provide you with some basic information about what you might expect from therapeutic treatment at Hopeful Hearts Therapy, LCSW, PLLC and in an effort to learn a little bit about the reasons you are seeking therapy at this time. During this phone consultation you can expect to learn about our therapeutic approach, review our fee structure, ensure you are familiar with where our office is and, if you choose, schedule your first appointment.

Before Your Visit

Prior to coming in for your first visit you will be asked to complete an intake form which will provide us with a comprehensive history regarding your child’s health, social and emotional development.

Click here to view and complete an intake form.

Upon arrival you will be asked to sign forms on confidentiality and privacy.

Your First Visit

Your first visit is just for you and Melissa, your child is not present.

  • Your first visit will be approximately 1 hour long and will include the following:
    • Discussion regarding the primary concerns that have brought you to Hopeful Hearts Therapy, LCSW, PLLC
    • Information regarding your child’s likes and dislikes as well as any information that you can provide that would be helpful in treating your child.
    • Review of additional providers involved
    • Discussion of treatment modalities and goals
  • At the end of this visit Melissa will provide you with her initial thoughts about the issues that brought you and tell you if she thinks she can help. She’ll recommend a treatment plan (e.g. play therapy, group therapy and/or family therapy) and a frequency (e.g. once or twice a week). If, for any reason, you decide not to continue with Hopeful Hearts Therapy, LCSW PLLC, Melissa will be happy to provide you with names of colleagues who might be a better fit.


After the initial visit, sessions will be conducted with your child. Individual treatment sessions will last for 50 minutes (a therapeutic hour). Families are expected to arrive on time for a session and remain on premises (in the waiting room) during the entire treatment session. Treatment will vary depending on your child’s needs and goals. As goals are met, your child’s treatment plan will be re-examined. Family is welcome to join in on sessions when clinically beneficial and participation will usually be determined in advance. These sessions may be longer depending on the child/family. Communication will occur on a regular basis following appointments and via phone with a formal progress/feedback session scheduled on a quarterly basis.

What do I tell my child?

The following are some important things you can tell your child in order to help him/her understand what to expect during the first visit.

  1. Tell them that he/she will visit for about one hour.
  2. Let your child know that the counselor may speak with the parent(s) and child both together and separately during the hour. Sometimes the counselor will meet with the parent(s) in a session prior to meeting your child. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Explain to your child that he/she is not being taken for this visit as a punishment or because he/she is in trouble.
  4. Reassure your child that NO physical examination, shots, or medical procedure will be performed. This will help to reassure your child that the visit will not be painful.
  5. Explain to your child that he/she will find many types of toys in the office and that your child may explore and play with various toys and games during the visit.
  6. Your child may bring a toy if it will help him/her to feel more comfortable.
  7. If your child is apprehensive about the visit, please offer reassurance by letting him/her know that he/she will not have to talk about anything he/she does not want to talk about.

We are happy to discuss this with you in our first session.