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If your child is showing signs of emotional disturbance, has recently experienced a traumatic event or is having behavioral problems, you may want to consult a clinical psychologist for children. Begin your search by asking for referrals from your pediatrician or officials from your child’s school. You may also want to talk to friends and acquaintances to find out if they have any personal experience clinical psychologists who specialize in working with children. After verifying his or her credentials, try to arrange an initial consultation between yourself and the psychologist so that you can get an idea of whether he or she is going to be able to work effectively with you, your child and, in some cases, the rest of your family.
Once you have determined that you need to find a clinical psychologist for children, contact educational or health care professionals who can assist you in your search. A pediatrician or family doctor may be well acquainted with several psychologists who specialize in child or adolescent therapy. If your child's problems are brought to your attention by school officials were teachers, you can ask them for referrals as well. If cost is an issue, talk to your doctor or school administrators about your concerns and ask for referrals to professionals who have a sliding scale or whose services are subsidized by outside funds. Your insurance company can provide you with a list of therapists whose services are covered under your policy.
Once you find a clinical psychologist for children who you think might be a good match, do some due diligence. In most jurisdictions, clinical and counseling psychologists must be licensed before offering services to the public. Verify with the government licensing board in your area that the psychologist of your choice holds a valid license in good standing. In addition, ask if the psychologist has been subject to disciplinary measures, such as having his or her suspended for malpractice or ethical violations.
When you talk to the psychologist, asked where he got his or her training for clinical psychology. You should also find out if he or she has any professional certifications in the treatment of children. In addition, find out how long he has been in practice and how long he or she has specialized in working with children and adolescents. Some mental health experts suggest paying for an initial consultation so that you can get an idea of whether the psychologist is someone who you think will get along well with your child and be able to help him or her.
Don't be afraid to connect with more than one clinical psychologist for children. It is very important that your child work with somebody that he or she respects and feels comfortable with. Once you find someone, be sure to work with the psychologist to ensure that your child continues to make progress during the therapeutic process.