What’s wrong, and how do we help? Getting children the right mental-health support.
This article provides an informative guide about how to approach your child who might need mental health support. An important section addresses how to find a professional with whom your child will connect. From the article:
How do you find an expert your child will connect with?
- Research therapists who specialize in children and adolescent mental health. Check online whether they’re listed in Psychology Today’stherapist network. It’s a great resource because you can read what the therapist says about their approach.
- Contact each one of them to ask whether they will have a short conversation on the phone with your child — more than 10 minutes — to see whether it’s a good fit.
- Don’t assume you have to find a therapist that looks like your child. If at all possible, include in your list men and women, an older person and a younger person. You never know who your child will connect with.
- Ask your child to prepare their own questions so that they have a voice in the process. But just in case they don’t want to do that, here are a few they can use:
- How would the therapist describe their style?
- How does the therapist see their role between parent and child? For example, at what point will they notify a parent about something that has come up in a session? How do they understand mandatory reporting? You want someone who has a clear understanding of the boundaries between therapist, parent and child.
- What are the therapist’s areas of specialization?
- Why do they work with teens? What do they find most rewarding? What do they find most challenging?
The full article can be found here.