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Tips for Finding a Therapist for Your Child

Know yourself:

Finding a therapist for your child is a vulnerable experience. The fit for your child is as important as the fit with a pediatrician, coach and any other provider. Your child needs to feel comfortable. You also need to feel as comfortable as possible with the therapeutic relationship requiring you to examine your own internal potential resistances such as:

  • Cultural values around therapy

  • Time constraints

  • Feelings about the possibility of medication recommendation

  • Concerns about privacy

  • Financial considerations

  • Feelings of inadequacy and/or guilt

Know your child:

Entering into therapy is an equally vulnerable experience for your child. You can streamline the process by asking your child some of the following questions:

  • Do you have a gender preference?

  • Are there days/times which are better for you?

  • If you had to describe in two sentences why we are going to therapy, what would you say?

  • What do you hope to get out of the therapy (look for specific answers such as “make more friends”)

  • When you think of people in your life who are helpful with problems, what kind of people are they?

Interview the therapist:

You and your child need to feel that the therapist will work for you therefore interviewing becomes particularly important. Prior to calling gather your family calendar, insurance information and the notes from your questions to your child.

Interview questions:

  • What is your experience working with this age?

  • What is yoru experience with the challenge my child is experiencing?

  • What is your relationship to school? Will you be available to call or attend meetings if needed?

  • What are your confidentiality guidelines for your child? For you? For us? For the school?

  • How do you involve the family?

  • What insurance do you take?

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