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By Ann Christen, M.A., M.F.T. , Linda Broatch, M.A.
Before you start interviewing prospective therapists, ask yourself a few questions to help clarify your goals and expectations for your child's therapy. Questions such as the following may be useful:
Once you' ve thought about goals for your child's therapy and how to manage the logistics involved, make some calls to friends, school staff, or community service agencies to get the names of therapists they recommend. When you are ready to interview the therapists in person or over the telephone, you may find our " Questions to Ask Counselors and Therapists- pdf worksheet useful. In-person interviews can give you a feel for whether you have "good chemistry" with a therapist. The worksheet includes several suggested questions to ask therapists and provides a way to organize your notes, such as:
Finding the right therapist to help a child with emotional or behavioral problems may take a little time. When you begin working with a therapist, be alert to how helpful and supportive the sessions seem. From your first appointment, you should feel that you are getting emotional and practical support you need to deal with your child's issues. As therapy progresses, your child should become more comfortable with the process.
You may begin work with a therapist, decide the therapist is not working out well, and have to start your search again. But if you persist, the benefit to your child and family can make the effort well worth it.
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