Seeing a psychologist can feel daunting to children. Being vulnerable and open about mental health difficulties can be challenging, and seeing a competent and kind psychologist makes this process easier. You might wonder, how do I find a good child psychologist? And what constitutes a ‘good’ psychologist. The following tips will help you when searching for a psychologist for your child:
Select a psychologist who has knowledge and experience working with children
Different psychologists have different professional interests and areas of training. To find a psychologist who will work well with your child, try selecting a therapist who has a particular interest and experience in working with the age group of your child or their presenting issue. See our psychologists’ bios to learn more about our team and who may be a good fit for your child.
Take note of how the psychologist communicates
One quality you want in a psychologist for your child is the ability to communicate well. Psychologists should be able to explain concepts to a variety of audiences including children, parents, and other health professionals. If you want to find a good child psychologist, make sure that both you and your child understand concepts discussed in therapy.
Let your child have input
The efficacy of psychological therapy is affected by the relationship between client and therapist. Your child needs to feel safe and comfortable in therapy. A competent child psychologist is skilled in building rapport with your child. Ask your child how they feel about attending the sessions. If they say they enjoy the sessions or find them helpful, this is a positive sign. Research shows that across therapy types, the relationship between client and psychologist makes a difference. A good psychologist will be warm, empathetic, and respectful. An effective child psychologist will make your young person feel valued and heard.
The right psychologist also has a personal element. Children have their own personalities and preferences and may ‘click’ with one psychologist but not another. If your child does not connect with a psychologist, you can change therapists to find a better fit. Asking your child if they have a preference in terms of age and gender of psychologist before seeking support can also be helpful.
Be open about what you and your child want from therapy
You might ask yourself, when should my child see a psychologist? People tend to come to therapy when they are struggling for a time and would like something to change. If you want the most out of therapy, it is useful to describe what that ‘something’ is that your child (and possibly yourself) would like to change.
By clearly identifying the goals of therapy and any preferences for how you would like therapy to work, you are more likely to find a psychologist who is a good match for your child. For example, your child may be best suited to a laid-back, flexible approach, with lots of time to open up and share emotions. Or you may want very directive therapy with lots of advice and well-defined, practical strategies. A good child psychologist will give you a general idea of their approach and the number of sessions needed and will also be flexible in how they work depending on your child.
Another way to build a good working relationship with a child psychologist is to provide feedback about the therapy. This could come from your child (whether they like the sessions, find them useful, what they think might help) and/or from yourself (if you are seeing behavioural changes, if any parenting strategies given are working, etc.).
Providing feedback about progress and satisfaction with therapy direction facilitates a psychologist’s work to help your child. Psychologists are continually forming hypotheses, ideas about what is causing your child’s mental health difficulties and what might help. The more information they have, the better psychologists can work to help your young person. If therapy is not working as well as it could, a child psychologist will explore and problem-solve barriers to progress.
In summary, finding a good child psychologist means connecting with a professional who has experience and knowledge about working with children and is trained to build rapport and a good working relationship with your child. Finding a child psychologist is about more than just the therapist – it is the match between psychologist and client that can facilitate effective therapy. We have a large team of psychologists who could assist your child. Call us on (07) 3857 0074 to book in.
How To Find A Good Child Psychologist How To Find A Good Child Psychologist
When Should A Child See A Psychologist? When Should A Child See A Psychologist? When Should I Take My Child To A Psychologist?
When Should I Take My Child To A Psychologist?