What to Expect at Your First Appointment with Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
Parents – and kids – can feel many different emotions when preparing for an appointment with a member of our Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology (BMCP) team. Parents may feel nervous about their child sharing their feelings and experience, but excited at the reality that their child is going to get the support they need. Children and adolescents may feel embarrassed at their wide range of emotions, but relief that someone is going to listen and help.
Our team works hard to help ease any worries or anxiety and create a friendly, welcoming environment. Our goal is to get to know all aspects of your child—including their physical, emotional, and social help. The initial intake form you'll be asked to fill out provides us with great information to get started. Then, we'll have a conversation with both your child and you so that, together, we can create a treatment plan that best meets your child's and family's needs. After all, your family's participation and collaboration are key to your child's success.
Making an Appointment with Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
We welcome parents and caretakers to make appointments with us directly for their child, or their child's providers can refer them to our division. Patients can schedule an appointment through MyChart or contact our division.
Our intake coordinators will ask for medical information, including the reason for visiting. We'll also look for openings with one of our providers. If no appointments are available in the next eight weeks, we will refer you to one of our trusted community partners or a different division at Cincinnati Children's.
On the Day of Your Visit to Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
Our licensed behavioral health providers are more than just experienced professionals. In fact, our entire staff is warm and welcoming. We understand that you and your child may feel nervous or even uncomfortable at your first appointment. Try to keep in mind we're here just to have a friendly conversation with you. You and your child will also feel supported and encouraged. We want to learn more about your child and find out how we can help them—and your entire family—feel and function at their best.
Before Your Appointment
You'll be sent an intake questionnaire one week before your child's first appointment. This allows us to gather background information about your child, their health and behaviors. It also offers a space for you to share any sensitive information—such as concerns or questions you have in a private manner. We ask that you email or fax this information back before your child's appointment. If necessary, you can also bring it with you the day of your appointment.
We'll also remind you of any testing your child is scheduled for before the appointment with our team. We'll let you know where to go, how long it will take and how to prepare. Typically, you'll just need to make sure your child is in comfortable clothes and has their eyeglasses or any necessary medications. Be sure that everyone has eaten before arrival. You may also want to bring a snack and water.
Please plan on arriving at our clinic 15 minutes before your appointment. Keep in mind you will need to allow 10 to 15 minutes to park and walk to our office. We ask that you contact us if you are running late to your appointment.
At Your Appointment
You and your child will meet with a licensed clinical child psychologist. We'll start by building a rapport with your child to help them feel comfortable. We'll also discuss:
- Your child's personal and social background, such as members of the household, interests, school performance, extracurricular activities
- Your child's medical history and past treatments
- Your family's medical history
- Why your child is starting therapy
This information, along with the information you provided on the intake form and a conversation with your child and you, allows us to develop a treatment plan. We'll discuss these recommendations together. Your input, ideas, suggestions and questions are a welcome and important part of creating a plan that works for your child and your family.
Games, toys and activities are available to help keep your child busy and engaged during the appointment, which will take about 45 minutes.
After Your Visit to Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
You will receive an After Visit Summary before you leave, which includes important information about upcoming appointments and medication—including new prescriptions. We'll also discuss your child's schedule for follow-up care.
We're here to help you and your child however we can. You are welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns you have between your child's appointment. You can also send a message in MyChart.