If you’re searching for a Child Psychologist, then you naturally want the best for your family. You want the top care for your child. You know how vital it is for you to find not only some help but the right help.
There is no way around this, and nor should there be: your Psychologist needs to be fully qualified. That means a Master’s Degree plus a Doctorate or professional training, plus an up-to-date license to practice. Ask how recent any training was, and if they have continued with training or professional development. You need to balance experience with contemporary practices.
Finding The Best Child Psychologist For Your Family
A good Child Psychologist should have training that makes them able to look at a variety of issues. These include trauma, abuse, psychological disorders, developmental disorders, learning disabilities, special needs, and bullying.
You should look for slightly different qualities for an initial set of consultations, when a diagnosis is uncertain, compared to after diagnosis for treatment.
“That is not to say you need two separate people. Many can offer both, but it is something to keep in the back of your mind.”Jody Martin, a health blogger at Writinity and Researchpapersuk.
For diagnosis, you want to find someone with as broad a knowledge base as possible. That means you probably don’t want a specialist in a particular issue just yet, but rather a general Child Psychologist. They need an open mind during diagnosis and not to force an opinion or treatment plan.
Many different things can present with overlapping symptoms, so that, for example, lack of attention may be ADHD, but could just as quickly be Autism, Trauma, or a Learning Disability, or many more. What you want is someone to gently explore the subtleties so a real diagnosis can be made. They should also consider both medication and psychotherapy and referral to specialists for confirmation.
After diagnosis, you should look for someone with a depth of knowledge in that specific area. This way, they can offer the best treatment plan. They should, however, never be overly invested in one way. Rather, they should know the difference between a range of styles.
Treatments should always be personal. Your specialist should be able to talk you through everything from medication and psychotherapy to lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, hypnosis. They should be able to advise you on the benefits, risks, and limitations of all of those. They will also suggest a personalized plan based on your child and their experiences of past successes.
Communication is key to a good relationship between your child Psychologist, your child, and you as parents. Everyone should have a clear idea of the process, any progress or issues, and plans.
With this comes the importance of trustworthiness. Trust your gut on this one. A good Psychologist should always be professional and polite and should put you at ease. They will be sharing sensitive and personal information, potentially coordinating with educators or other people in your child’s life. You need to feel safe, as does your child.
Enthusiasm and humility need to be balanced. You want someone who cares for your child and their needs, able to play and relate to children to make therapy enjoyable and to relax so progress can be made. You also want someone who listens carefully and observes, picking up on any hidden cues. “Someone who can gently tease out a conversation without upset. Someone who questions their assumptions and diagnosis and keeps checking they are right.
You want someone who is happy to spend time explaining and educating children and family. You want someone empathetic and kind and willing to adjust treatment over time.”Armando Franklin, a blogger at Draft Beyond and Last minute writing.
Things To Run From!
If you are unable to find out about their qualifications, run! Likewise, if they do not get a thorough medical history of your child and family, they are not doing their job. Most importantly, they should know about all current medications before prescribing.
If they are not open to discussions or adjustments over time, find someone else. Likewise, if you feel they do not listen to you, leave. If they only spend a short time diagnosing or push for prescribing drugs early on, get a second opinion before you agree.
If they show any negativity, or even rudeness or anger, when you get a second opinion or look things up online, that is a huge red flag. Likewise, if they never admit to not knowing something. This is unprofessional and has no place in treatment.