According to a study, about 22% of children assessed have mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. Do you think this might be the case with yours?
Do you feel like a huge weight is pressing on your shoulders? Are you struggling with finding the right approach for your child?
If you answered yes to the above questions, it’s time that you seek help through a professional. You might be wondering how to choose a child therapist.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to choose the right mental health professional to help your kid grow healthy again. Read on.
Identify Your Child’s Needs
Start by having a health professional evaluate your child’s mental health needs and set concrete therapy goals. Common reasons for therapy are:
- Behavioral issues
- Underlying mental conditions
- Learning disability
- Developmental disorder
You’ll want to do some research to find options for therapists and what type of therapy would be best suited for your child. It’s essential to take the time to understand what kind of therapeutic services your child requires. Having an accurate starting point will save you time and resources.
Check for Qualifications, Specializations, and Experience
A professional therapist should have a Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling, Child Psychology, or Social Work. Look for specific child therapy experience or expertise working with children and adolescents.
When forming a therapy relationship, it is essential to ask about their qualifications and any licenses or certifications they may have. You should also ensure the therapist is licensed to work in your state or country. This can help them determine what kind of care and treatment they can give and at what level.
Also, it’s helpful to find out how long they’ve been practicing and their style and relationships. This includes the places where they do therapy and the methods and ways they use it.
Explore Their Therapeutic Approach
Look at how your child’s therapist tries to help them reach their goals and decide if that’s the right way to help your child. When talking to a therapist, it’s helpful to say your goals so they can give you the best care.
There are different types of therapy. Knowing if they can provide the kind your child needs will ensure the program’s success. Here are some examples of treatments typically offered for children:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Applied behavioral analysis
- Play therapy
- Psychodynamic therapy
You could ask what methods are used and how they deal with your child’s main problems. Also, ask if the therapist has worked with both families and individuals.
Make sure that your beliefs and the child therapist’s are the same. If you have rules about things like religion, sex, or discipline, it’s essential to ensure they can be discussed openly and without judgment.
Also, ensuring their therapy method works well for your child is essential. Find a child therapist who understands that every child has different wants and situations.
Does this therapist use methods that have been shown to work? Is the counselor kind to the patient and not authoritarian? These are essential things to consider when picking a therapist for your child.
Consider Availability and Accessibility
Familiarize yourself with the therapist’s hours and practice location. This is to ensure a feasible appointment schedule for you and your child.
Geographic location is important too. If you are looking for private counselling in Surrey, finding a therapist within the area is best to make attending weekly therapy sessions easier.
However, if you are in an area with limited therapeutic services, don’t be afraid to look into online therapist options. Ask about their policies regarding collaboration with other medical or treatment providers if needed.
Seek Referrals and Recommendations
Referrals and recommendations provide an opportunity to compare providers and professionals to ensure you choose one that is right for you and your child. Start by asking family, friends, and physicians for recommendations. Other trusted sources may include your child’s pediatrician, school counselors, support groups, and other therapists.
Once you have a list of potential providers, take the time to personally interview each provider before making your decision. Ask for references from past clients.
Get their contact details and ask them about their experience with the therapist. With an informed decision made based on referrals and recommendations, a good child therapist will be chosen to help your child find a better, healthier, and happier life.
Confirm Insurance Coverage and Cost
When choosing a child therapist, confirm insurance coverage and costs before committing to one. Most insurance companies will have a list of services covered and providers in-network whom they will cover.
The therapist one chooses is in-network and covered by the provider’s insurance for the service needed. Get an overview of the fees associated with therapy. Inquiring about any costs that an insurance provider may not cover before beginning services.
Ask specific questions about fees for consultations, sessions, assessments, and any other fees that may come up. Getting all this information and comparing therapy costs will help you understand the total cost better.
Book an Initial Consultation
After researching therapists who meet the criteria, it is time to book an initial consultation. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know the therapist and to ask questions. Assess the therapist’s qualifications and comfort level.
It is also essential to discuss the expectations from the therapy sessions. Booking an initial consultation provides parents insight into the therapist’s values, communication style, and core beliefs.
This helps them determine if the therapist is an excellent professional and personal match for their child. Ultimately, an initial consultation is a great starting point for choosing a therapist for your child.
Choose a Child Therapist That Can Help Your Child
A child therapist can help children cope with stress or emotional difficulties. It can be challenging to choose a child therapist, but conducting research and asking the right questions can be helpful.
Through these investigations, you can select a provider with the credentials, experience, understanding, and connection necessary and beneficial to you and your child. Be sure to take the time to compare different therapists and take advantage of free consultations.
If you want more information, check out some of our other guides.