4. Be careful about confidentiality. Never tell a teen that whatever they say to us is confidential. That's not true. We are required to disclose certain types of information, such as child abuse or situations where a youngster is a danger to himself or others. We discuss those rules during our first session.
5. Make a deal. Some kids come into my office and initially refuse to talk. I ask them to cooperate with me for three sessions so we can get to know each other and determine if I can be of help. In return for their cooperation, it will be their decision if they want to return. When treated with respect and given a reasonable degree of control, I've found that teens are engaged and responsive.
6. Go by yourself. Seek a professional consultation even if your teen refuses to go with you, although do this as a last resort.
Next Week: Does high school performance really matter?