We all want the best for our children. This may never be more evident than when a concerned parent is searching for the right mental health professional to treat their child. Finding a therapist that can have a meaningful, transformative, and lasting impact on your child’s life can be a daunting, even frustrating, task. But asking the right questions and communicating effectively can make this process easier and more likely to succeed.
Here are some tips to help you find the best child therapist.
Start your search by asking your child’s school guidance counselor, or family and friends, for a referral. Research reviews online of local child therapists and tele therapy providers. Speak with the community outreach center to see what services are available.
Once you’ve identified several qualified candidates, set up a consultation with each.
A few questions to ask a prospective child therapist are:
- How much experience do you have treating children in my child’s age group?
- What types of therapy do you employ?
- What are your views on medication?
- What are the parents’ roles in this process?
It is important to ask the right questions at this initial consultation with a child therapist, and equally as important to have the right answers. Come prepared with complete information about your child’s medical history, and a detailed description of your child’s behavior that is troubling. Take notes the weeks before and document any events or behaviors that may help the therapist get a better understanding of the situation.
How do you know when you’ve found the right therapist for your child?
There is no universal answer to this question. It may be a sudden change in your child’s behavior, or a slow change. It may be a gut feeling, or positive reinforcement that connects. You’ll know it when you see it.
Keep in mind that it may take a few sessions before a truly informed decision can be made. Don’t be dismayed if there is not an instant connection- and don’t expect a miracle breakthrough in the first, second, or third session. Give your child and the therapist enough time to get to know each other and form a bond before starting over with a new therapist.
To find the best therapist for your child, contact Dean Aman, LPCMH today.