Step-by-step guide to child therapy with Jennifer

free initial phone consultation

Therapy always starts with an initial 15-30 minute phone consultation. I’ll ask you about what is going on for your child and your family. You can also ask me questions. From there, we decide if I am a good fit for you and your child.

first appointment WITH PARENTS

If we are a good fit, I schedule a meeting with you in person. I prefer to meet all of the child’s parents, either together or separately, depending on your preference and situation. In this meeting, we talk in depth about your child’s strengths and challenges as well as your expectations for therapy. I will have important forms for you to both sign and take home to fill out. In some cases I may recommend more than one initial parent meeting.

From there we schedule a time for me to meet your child. I will also send you an invitation to my secure client portal and messaging app, Spruce, both HIPAA-compliant.

Jennifer Trinkle, play therapist in downtown Berkeley, uses games, toys, and art supplies to engage kids.

First appointment with your child

We identify a regular date and time for your child’s weekly appointments. When you bring your child to the first appointment, you are welcome to come back to the therapy room with her or him. I talk with the child in age-appropriate language about what we do in therapy, show him or her the toys and art supplies we can use, and we get to work!

(For more information on how you can prepare your child for therapy, read my recommendations, coming soon).

the first 4-6 weeks of therapy

I spend the first month or so of therapy getting to know your child and getting a deeper understanding of what is going on and how best to approach it. I do this while the child and I play. As we play, I pay attention to themes and behaviors, which give me a clue to your child’s inner and outer world. At the end of this assessment period, with your and your child’s input (depending on the child’s age), I create a treatment plan. This plan is a blueprint for the course of therapy.

parent meetings

Because we are partners working together in support of your child, it is very important we check in regularly either in person or on the phone. Child therapy is most effective with your involvement. I see your child for just an hour or two each week. You know your child best and see her or him in a variety of different places and times.

I schedule parent check-ins, either in person or on the phone on average every 4-6 weeks.

when is therapy over?

Depending on the issues, therapy can take a few months to a year or longer. I discuss my treatment time estimates with you. And sometimes it is helpful for a child to come back on occasion for a tune-up, particularly during stressful or transitional times.

Questions? GET IN TOUCH!

I would love to hear from you! Call me at (510) 344-2665 or email at