The intake session provides an opportunity to gather background information (emotional, medical, academic, social, and family history), discuss treatment goals and how those might be achieved, observe and interact with the client and their parents to build rapport, and talk about various examples of the concerns being reported and how they are impacting the child's functioning.
These two hours are usually broken up into different sections, such as meeting all together, meeting with just parents, and meeting with just the child. The length and focus of these sections may vary based on the child's age, comfort level, and the concerns being discussed. While this extended session helps to achieve these various goals during the initial meeting, it is possible to schedule two one-hour sessions if needed.
Therapists are flexible during these sessions to ensure breaks can be taken if needed, interactive elements are used if the child is restless, and even games or activities may be included to observe parent-child interactions and give the child an opportunity to build rapport with the therapist. It is understandable that most children would not enjoy or be focused during a two-hour conversation, and your therapist will shape the session to help them be comfortable and engaged as much as possible.