Bringing your child to a Child Therapist can be scary and stressful for both you and your child.
Questions You May Be Asking Yourself...
How do I know who is a qualified Child Therapist?
What does a Child Therapist do with my child?
Should My Child see a Therapist?
If you are looking for a child therapist I am currently accepting new clients at the Kennedy Center for Counseling in New Lenox, IL. Please contact 815-320-3749 and ask to schedule an appointment with Juliann. I am also accepting new clients (adults only) through my virtual office at Breakthrough.com.
You both are probably confused and distressed about your child’s behavior or emotional reactions. I am sure that you feel like you have talked to your child, at your child, and with others who are concerned about your child. You might be wondering what is wrong with my child? Getting help from a Child Therapist is the best thing you can do. With that said there are still many questions that you will want to ask when looking for a Child Therapist to help your child.
How do I know who is a qualified Child Therapist?
Child Therapist Credentials
There are several types of Credentials that a child therapist can hold. Your child’s therapist should hold a professional degree in the field of mental health (psychiatry, psychology, counseling, social work) and be licensed in your state. Psychiatrist, Psychologists, Clinical Counselors, Clinical Social Workers all diagnose and treat mental health disorders, but do it differently.
The following may be helpful in understanding the letters behind the name of your Child Therapist.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD of DO) they have advanced training and experience in psychology. They have the ability to prescribe medication. Most psychiatrist do not meet for therapy.
Psychologists (PsyD, PhD) are therapists who have a doctorate degree that includes advanced training in psychology. They specialize in testing and evaluation. Psychologists do not prescribe medication and normally do not meet for therapy.
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) has a master degree in counseling psychology with at least 3 years experience in the practice of clinical counseling therapy. A Clinical Professional Counselor is licensed in the state they practice. They meet with clients for therapy.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) has a master degree in the study of sociology and has at least 3 years experience in the practice of clinical social work. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker is licensed in the state they practice. They normally create a network of care for the clients they meet.
With all of the above professionals you want to find someone who specializes in working with children. Look for the child therapist who has the right experience and most important who will have the best approach to help your child.
Other questions that may be helpful when evaluating a potential Child Therapist.
Is the therapist licensed to practice in your state? (You can check with your State Board of Professional Regulation or ask the therapist to see their license)
What type of experience does the therapist have?
How long has the therapist worked with children and adolescents?
Would your child find the therapist friendly?
Does the therapist include you or your family in the session?
What type of therapy does the therapist specialize in?
What Does a Child Therapist Do with My Child?
There are many different types of therapy that a professional can use to help your child. Many therapists choose the strategies that are appropriate for a particular problem. Child Therapists may use a variety of strategies, including:
This type of therapy uses dialogue and evaluation to help the client come to personal realizations about areas of their behavior or emotions that need to be challenged or changed.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Focuses on the thought process of and individual that creates behavior. Activities used will help the client identify and change problematic thoughts leading to behavior through assignments, homework and behavior modification.
Play therapy enters into the child’s expression of emotions and behaviors through play. Play Therapy uses play tools as the medium to help the child identify emotions, problem solve and develop new behaviors.
Should My Child see a Therapist?
Sometimes knowing when to take your child to see a child therapist is not clear. A child can suddenly seem withdrawn, worried, stressed, sulky or tearful. Other times significant life events, the loss of a family member, friend, pet, divorce, a move, remarriage, a parent leaving on military deployment, or a major illness in the family, can cause stress that might lead to difficulties with your child's behavior, mood, sleep, appetite, academic or social functioning. If you feel that your child might have an emotional or behavioral coping difficulties with a life event, trust your parental instincts. And most likely if you are asking this question you already know it would be a good idea to consult with a professional.
Signs that your child may benefit from Child Therapy include:
Attention problems (such as ADD or ADHD)
Behavior problems of excessive anger, temper tantrums, or sudden bed wetting
Being the victim of bullying or bullying other children
Significant drop in grades
Social withdrawal or isolation
Episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or crying.
Overly aggressive behavior of biting, kicking or hitting.
Insomnia or increased sleepiness
Sudden change in appetite (particularly in adolescents)
Development of an increase in physical complaints, like headache, stomach ache, not feeling well despite a normal physical exam by your child’s doctor.
Refusing to go to school, or difficulty going leading to tardiness.
Signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use.
Problems with transitions following separation, divorce, remarriage, or relocation.
If your child is having difficulty with any of the above it is likely that they will benefit from seeing a child therapist. Do not hesitate to seek help form a child therapist. The longer you wait the harder it will be for your child and your family.
Question for a Child Therapist
Please contact me with questions you may have concerning your child's behavior or child therapy services. It is my service to talk with parents.
I can be contacted for a free consultation at 708-730-2600 or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am currently accepting new clients at the Kennedy Center for Counseling in New Lenox, IL. Please contact 815-320-3749 and ask to schedule an appointment with Juliann. Insurance accepted
Online Adult and Adolescent Services
I also provide online counseling services through a virtual office. Where we can meet without you having to leave the comfort of your own home. To schedule an appointment visit http://steinbeigle.breakthrough.com.
I know it’s sometimes hard to meet me at my office. Sometimes you’re too busy, live too far away, or have trouble finding childcare. So I’ve added a video counseling service. Now we can meet wherever it’s most convenient for you – from your couch, or your kitchen within your home. Meeting at my online office is easy to use – I promise! All you need is a computer and broadband internet access. I’ve found it’s just as effective as meeting face-to-face – and research backs me up on that. It’s secure. And - perhaps the best reason to consider it is the ease of use from the comfort of your home. Please visit my online office to learn more. If you’ve got any questions at all just let me know. I’m happy to help you figure out whether meeting online makes sense for you.
Make sure to consider a number of factors when searching for the right therapist for your child. Credentials along with how your child responds to the therapist are the main factors to consider. A good first step is to ask the if they would be willing to do an initial phone consultation or brief meeting to see if they are the right fit for your child.
If your child is at risk of hurting himself or another please call 911, your local police department or take them to the nearest hospital emergency room for assistance.