Questions to Ask: Choosing a Treatment Provider for Your Child

A therapist should be willing to answer any questions you may have about methods, training, and fees during a consultation. Bring a list of your child’s symptoms to discuss, and be sure to mention any medications for allergies or other illnesses. 

Here are some questions to consider asking:

  • What training and experience do you have in treating anxiety disorders?
  • Do you specialize in treating children? If your child is a teenager, you may want to ask the age limit that your child can remain under this specialist’s care.
  • What is your training in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other therapies?
  • What is your basic approach to treatment?
  • Can you prescribe medication or refer me to someone who can, if that proves necessary?
  • How long is the course of treatment?
  • How frequent are treatment sessions and how long do they last?
  • Do you include family members in therapy?
  • How will I know that my child is responding to the treatment and getting better?
  • If my child does not respond to treatment, how will you decide when to change or modify the treatment?
  • As my child ages, will any symptoms change? Will the response to treatment change?
  • What should I explain to the school about my child’s anxiety disorder?
  • How do you approach the topic of alcohol and substance use in teens who take medication?
  • Will you coordinate my child’s treatment with our family doctor or pediatrician?
  • What is your fee schedule, and do you have a sliding scale for varying financial circumstances?
  • What kinds of health insurance do you accept?

If a therapist is reluctant to answer your questions, or if you or your child does not feel comfortable, see someone else.


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ADAA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and mood disorders, OCD, and PTSD and to improving the lives of all people who suffer from them through education, practice, and research.


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