How Do I Find a Therapist for My Child?
If you haven't already checked out our recent blog post "Could My Child Benefit From Therapy?", please follow this link to give it a read before digging into this newest post.
Okay, whew, this is a really big decision. Making the choice to find some extra support for your little one can feel both exciting and scary, as well as a tad overwhelming. I mean, where are you even supposed to start? In this post we will cover the basics of how to go about finding a therapist that will be a great fit for your child and your family.
1. Finding a therapist starts like most other processes … The first step is research.
One helpful starting point is speaking with your child’s pediatrician, school counselor (otherwise known as guidance counselor), or teacher. Oftentimes they can recommend a therapist that they have worked with in the past or perhaps they know of a therapist who has an expertise in the area of support that you are looking for.
Another option is to ask around amongst your family, friends, co-workers, and other parents. Do you keep hearing the same name come up in multiple places? Is there someone who seems to have a really great reputation in the community? If so, that's another great place to start.
Check out the websites or professional profiles of therapists that you might be interested in working with. If they don't have their own website, you might be able to find them on a directory like Therapy Den, Psychology Today, or Open Path Collective.
2. Know that your child’s trust and rapport with their therapist is the foundation of success in therapy.
While a therapist's education and credentials are obviously important things to consider when selecting the right therapist for your family, there is often a certain "je ne sais quoi" aspect to finding a great fit. Rapport, connection, a sense of acceptance, and trust are extremely important.
When looking for a therapist for your child, think of the adults that they connect with now. What are those people’s personal qualities? For example, does your child really like their new teacher because she seems really silly and energetic? Or does your child seem to respond well to adults that are more calm and mellow?