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Private Therapy: Practical Expectations for Caregivers

by Keisha M. Berry, MS, CCC-SLP

March 2022  |  Private Therapy

What's Happening in Therapy

A great measure of effective private therapy is whether the therapist has taken the time to make sure the family understands the goals and objectives that have been established for your child. Just like an individualized education plan (IEP) in school, parental or family input should be a key consideration when developing a therapy plan. 

Think of private therapists as your partner. Knowing what is happening in therapy is important not only for practicing new skills at home, but it is also important so that parents can own their role in their child’s progress. Parental involvement is a strong indicator of being able to unlock the unmeasurable potential of private therapy.


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Family Satisfaction

Families deserve to work with providers who are skilled and responsive to their needs. Parents and caregivers deserve to be satisfied with their providers. I’ve met so many families who have worked with therapists for years, yet they feel that the providers are not a good fit for their families. Satisfaction does not mean that providers do everything that a family wants, but it does mean that a provider does his or her due diligence to respect the family’s expectations, understand their desires for their children, and provide education to help caregivers better understand therapy interventions. While you may not always agree with your providers, you should believe that they are competent and trustworthy. 

The Right Amount of Therapy

Is my child receiving enough therapy? This is a common question asked by caregivers.  My standard response —more therapy does not mean more progress; good therapy means more progress. When making recommendations for frequency and duration of services, providers take many factors into consideration, including a child’s needs. 

That said, the right amount of therapy varies and thus, there is no perfect “therapy calculator.” More important than asking about the amount of therapy, families should be encouraged to focus on progress. Is my child making progress?  If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board with your providers and figure out why. You may need to work together to address the amount of therapy, the type of intervention, or other barriers to progress.


Finding the right level of support is like tuning an instrument – too loose, and the melody falters; too tight, and the harmony is lost. It's in the delicate balance that our strength finds its perfect pitch.


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