If you think your child might benefit from seeing a therapist, you’re probably correct. You know your child, and you know that your hunches can be pretty accurate. So trust yourself. But, finding the right children’s therapist can be intimidating, almost enough to keep you from even trying! Right? After all, trusting someone to help with your child’s mental health is not the easiest thing to do.
If you are lucky, you might get a recommendation from a close friend, a doctor, or a teacher. You will still want to do a little investigating on your own, though, and talk to some therapists, voice to voice on the phone, before you decide. So get your questions ready!
What Do You Want to Know?
Start with your own questions. Write them down.
And, here is the list I hand out to people to give them more ideas. You can print this post or add these to your own list and just read them off when you make your calls. A good children’s therapist will answer all of your questions, so don’t hold back.
- Do you work with children?
- What are your credentials?
- How do you like working as a children’s therapist?
- What age children do you work with?
- How long have you worked with children?
- Are there any disorders you prefer not to work with?
- Do you work with families?
- What treatment techniques/modalities do you use with children? Families?
- Do you see my child alone or with parents in the room?
- How do you handle communication with school personnel?
- What is your assessment and diagnosis procedure?
- Can I bring my child for an assessment only, before deciding if we want to continue with services?
- What methods or checklists do you use to gather collateral information from family and school personnel?
- As a children’s therapist, what is your position on medication for children?
- What medical doctors/Psychiatrists do you work with in the event a child client needs medication evaluation and management?
- What is the cost of services and what payment options are available with you?
- How do you handle referrals if you decide not to work with someone who comes to you?
Children love, love, love their therapy sessions. They come running up the stairs to our offices. It’s their special time. They know it and subsequently feel protective and possessive of this time. Usually don’t want their parents in the room and feel pretty comfortable voicing that.
So, I like to mix it up. I see the child alone in so I can get to know him/her. Parents need to com without their child so we can talk on an adult level about the changes they can make. Seeing them all together give me information about family dynamics. Lots of therapeutic options. And, lots of fun!
Hope these ideas help you put a plan together for you and your youngster. Let me know how it worked out and what ideas you have to add.
If you have any questions be sure to contact me and I will most definitely respond.