It is natural to feel stressed out if you’re trying to find a therapist for your child. When your child is having trouble, it might make you feel helpless. However, think of taking your child to therapy the same way you would if your child had a broken bone and needed medical attention.

Some parents even have feelings of guilt, questioning whether it was something they did or didn’t do that contributed to the emotional pain that their child is displaying. Guilt never serves anyone well. The only thing that truly matters is locating the assistance that will change your child’s life. But how exactly do you locate the ideal therapist for your kid? The process of vetting therapists includes taking your time and being aware of what questions to ask and who to ask.

Where to locate a therapist for your child

It does not have to be tough to locate a therapist for your child. Many people feel better at ease when they receive a referral from someone they know and trust. Speaking with your friends and relatives is a good place to start. If a trusted friend has told you they had a nice time working with a therapist for your child, you should ask them about the aspects of the experience they enjoyed. You can inquire about the therapist if they would be a good fit for both your child and your family.

Additionally, a qualified therapist for your child will have connections with members of the community in which you live. Please inquire at the office of your child’s pediatrician as to whether they can recommend a therapist for your child. There will be referral lists available at many offices. The school is yet another excellent source of information. If your child’s school has a counselor or social worker, you should inquire about who they typically recommend.

Your health insurance provider should be able to provide you with a list of therapists in your area who are willing to accept your insurance as payment to maintain your membership in the provider network.

The Internet is another convenient area to begin your search. Most therapists for children have their own websites. If you search for a pediatric therapist in your area, you will get results from websites. This will give you a chance to weed out your options. Hopefully, a couple of names will come up repeatedly. Make a concise list of those therapists.

Ways to find a therapist for a child

What to ask a pediatric therapist

Now that you have your shortlist, it is important to research the potential therapists you have chosen. It is common practice for therapists to provide prospective new clients with a free 20- to 30-minute phone session. You can make an appointment to talk more with each potential therapist before deciding whether to introduce them to your child. This is a good idea if you need more time or can’t choose between two different therapists.

Because most therapists use their one-of-a-kind method when working with children and teenagers, it is in your best interest to prepare a list of questions to ask them when you meet with them. While you’re making this list, give some thought to the qualities you want a therapist to possess. Make sure you know what cannot be compromised so that you may eliminate anyone who does not fulfill your requirements.

Below are some of the questions you could ask the therapist:

  • Who do they work with, and what age range do they have? Some only work with individuals who can communicate verbally, while others have various abilities.
  • How much training does the therapist possess?
  • Do they have experience working with families and kids with comparable issues to the ones that brought your child to therapy?
  • How can you effectively meet your child’s domestic mental health needs?
  • What method does the therapist employ? (The majority of younger kids will participate in play-based treatment, although older kids could be able to participate in cognitive-behavioral therapy or more psychodynamic work.)

Parent found a therapist for their child

The role of a therapist for your child

Children’s thoughts are fundamentally different from those of adults. These days, parents have to deal with much more complicated issues than ensuring their children eat vegetables and get enough rest.

Parents occasionally want additional assistance. It may be essential to seek professional help when a child’s conduct or emotional distress significantly interferes with daily life. Understanding what a therapist does without being scared and believing your child is about to get a lobotomy is beneficial.

A pediatric therapist has specialized training to deal with the emotional shifts that might occur throughout a child’s growth and the challenges that can accompany those changes. Pediatric therapists are professionals educated to understand children better and teach them to appreciate their feelings and how to express them healthily and appropriately. Counselors assist children in overcoming challenges to their mental health through instruction and attentive listening.

One of the most beneficial services a therapist can provide is the provision of a vocabulary for what a child is demonstrating. Most parents are not mental health specialists and may witness actions that appear like “just being a kid,” while they could be exhibiting indicators of the development of generalized anxiety disorder or some other severe problem.

It’s possible to transform a child’s life by improving their emotional literacy and giving them more control over how they process their ideas and feelings. They can utilize numerous methods per one’s age and particular behavior presentation. Contrary to what one might expect from traditional therapy, child therapy is much more engaging and light-hearted.

Most therapists that work with children focus on altering younger children’s behaviors via interaction and play. Children have varying levels of attention, so making a session exciting and even getting them to do something physically active occasionally might help them better grasp how their feelings manifest in their developing bodies. A competent therapist will actively involve the client’s parents and other caregivers in formulating plans for the client to implement once they return home.

Making sense of it all

Parents must understand they are not alone. Everyone wants their children to be content and healthy. It can be frightening and confusing to experience mental health concerns, but it is reassuring to know that anxiety and confusion tend to vanish when hope and optimism are realized.

Having a struggling child opens new avenues for help for you as a parent. Your family will benefit from your education in coping mechanisms and improved emotional resilience in many ways. Navigating this new landscape of mental health care with an open heart and mind will help love triumph.

 

 

 

About the Author: Amanda Delgado

Amanda Delgado has been writing about therapy and other mental health topics for more than a decade. She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a strong interest in therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.