The first contact with clients is typically on the telephone, when parents call to make an inquiry about therapy or to schedule an appointment for their child. This first conversation establishes the parent as the expert in how therapy will proceed. Another effective way to communicate that the parents are the experts on their own family is to invite them to notice small signs of things that are going well so we can discuss strengths and resources in the first appointment. An optimistic therapist, who believes in the abilities of her clients, children and parents, has a significant impact on treatment outcome. The information gathered during the first appointment is quite standard: names, ages, school attendance, and parent information. The importance of observation cannot be overstated. If a child enters your office carrying a stuffed animal or a toy, it is a fair assumption that it has some significance.