How to Hire a Child Therapist

Raising children is an extremely important responsibility, which can be very difficult at times even when dealing with healthy and well-adjusted kids. For parents and caregivers who are dealing with children suffering from emotional or behavioral issues, that responsibility can seem impossible. It might be time to consider bringing in some outside help, but there are several factors to consider when you have to hire a child therapist.


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    Check with your pediatrician. You have been taking your child to him for years and both of you know and trust his opinion. He has a direct line to the experts in the field, and can recommend a child therapist that he not only trusts, but feels will be a good match for your child.
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    Call your insurance company. Once you have a few referrals from your pediatrician, it's a good idea to call your health insurance company to find out which of those referrals are covered under your plan. You don't know how long your child will need therapy, and it can get expensive if you are not helped by insurance.
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    Meet with all prospective therapists first. When making your phone calls, ask the child therapist if you can meet with her first before committing to bringing your child in for regular visits. If the therapist says no or claims to be too busy, then it's a good sign that she isn't the right fit.
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    Verify the therapist's licensing status. First, ask the therapist if he is licensed, then make a telephone call to the proper board to be sure. If you choose to go to this therapist, look for the license hanging on his wall.
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    Ask about experience. Since you have gotten referrals, you are assuming that the therapist specializes in children and adolescents. Before making your final decision, ask all of them how long they have been a child therapist, and choose one with a good amount of experience working with kids.
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    Inquire about emergencies and absences. You may not want to think about it, but in the event of an emergency, it's important to find out how the child therapist can be reached. In addition, ask her if there will be someone to cover when she is not in her office, such as during vacation periods or illnesses.


  • Find out if the child therapist you are thinking of hiring is one to prescribe medication often or is more conservative, so that you can make a choice based on your beliefs.
  • Weed out the therapists that don't sound friendly on the phone. A lot can be said about first impressions, even if you can't meet face to face the first time you speak to a therapist.
  • Switch therapists if it seems like your child is not benefiting from the sessions. It may take a few tries to get a good match.

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Categories: Parenting | Childhood Health