Choosing a Therapist 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.