Child Counseling Policies
Our Mission: One of Ebenezer's primary missions is to serve you and your child by providing a safe
place for your child to work through his or her emotional issues and to cope well with the stresses of
growing up, dealing with change, or recovering from trauma.  

It is our hope that the following guidelines will help you through the complexity of confidentiality issues, TN
Law, HIPAA rights, and the need to clarify the interests and rights of both parents in cases of divorce.
Emergency Situations: In cases of emergency (usually meaning life threatening issues or child
abuse), ECS therapists can see you and/or your child for one session to assess the situation and to make
recommendations.
For Children 0-15 years old with Parents Not Divorced:
  • Your child may accompany you and/or your spouse to the first session, unless you as a parent want to
    meet individually with the therapist first.
  • Either parent or both parents may bring the child in for the first session.  
  • The therapist will probably want to meet with you for at least a part of the first session with or without
    your child depending on the preference of the therapist.
  • Intake forms are available in our office or here on our website on the ECS Forms Page.
For Children 0-15 years old with Divorced Parents:
  • Therapists meet with at least one parent at the first session without the child.  
  • Do not bring your child to the first session unless there is an emergency.
  • Bring the entire parenting plan and/or legal documentation to the first session.
  • If there is joint authority for mother and father, both parents must agree for your child to be seen.  
  • Payment can be from mother, father, or both; but payment must be made at or before the time of your
    child’s first visit.
  • Intake forms are available in our office or here on our website on the ECS Forms Page.  In addition to
    the forms listed for children and adolescents, you will also need to print and complete the Divorced
    Parent Agreement Form.
For 16 or 17 Year Olds:
TN Law (See TCA 33-8-202) gives children ages 16 and 17 adult rights of privacy for therapy with some rare
exceptions (ECT).  “If a child with serious emotional disturbance or mental illness is sixteen years of age or
older, the child has the same rights as an adult with respect to outpatient and inpatient mental health
treatment, medication decisions, confidential information…”
  • ECS Therapists may meet with the child for one session to determine if the child meets the
    requirement of serious emotional disturbance or mental illness with or without the knowledge of the
    parent.  The child will be responsible for payment of this session.
  • If one or both parents are to be involved in payments for therapy, the child must release ECS to discuss
    attendance and account information with the parent(s).
Parents Not Divorced:
  • At least one parent must sign the Payment-Insurance Form taking responsibility for the account.
  • Either parent or both parents may bring the child in for the first session if the  child has not come
    by himself or herself.
  • ECS Therapists will clarify the rights and limits of confidentiality with the child and the parents.
               Please see our page describing the Issues of Confidentiality for 16 & 17 Year Olds.
Parents Divorced:
  • At least one parent will bring in the parenting plan or other legal documentation of the divorce.  
  • Depending on the parenting plan, the financial responsibility for each parent will be clarified on
    the Divorced Parent Agreement Form.
  • Either parent or both parents may bring the child in for the first session if the  child has not come
    by himself or herself.
  • ECS Therapists will clarify the rights and limits of confidentiality with the child and the parents.
               Please see our page describing the Issues of Confidentiality for 16 & 17 Year Olds
  • The child may choose to include only one or both parents.