There's so much to consider when it comes to child counseling that many parents can begin to feel overwhelmed. It's essential to take things one step at a time so that you feel comfortable with your choices and so that your child gets the most out of counseling. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a therapist.
Where to Begin
Making the decision to seek counseling for your teen or child isn't easy, but everything that comes after can sometimes feel even more difficult. Remember, your focus shouldn't be on just finding any therapist. It should be on choosing the right therapist for your child. A therapist who makes you and your child feel comfortable, listened to, and safe. To do so, it's helpful to keep a few things in mind.
The best thing you can do is be honest and ask your questions up front. Many therapists will be willing to work with you and explain details; if not, they probably aren't a good fit for your family.
Some questions to ask are:
- What is your background in child counseling?
- How long do children stay in counseling with you?
- What is the parent's role in meetings or sessions?
- How do you feel about medication?
Consider Different Types of Therapy
Therapists approaches to therapy can vary. For example, some utilize "play therapy" to let small children express themselves through toys and crafts, while others rely on "family therapy" to work through problems with the entire family unit. Sometimes they'll mix the two, and sometimes they do something completely different. The best therapists know how to read your child and the situation to adapt to what will potentially work best for them.
There are also various methods of individual therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral and EMDR, so it can be helpful to understand the approach your child's therapist will be taking.
Take Your Time
It's best to interview and consider at least three therapists before making your final choice. Remember, many therapists might be helpful, but only a few will be able to create a real, effective, comfortable relationship with you and your child.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the thought of child counseling, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We offer many different services to help families in Idaho.