Like any therapeutic relationship, finding the right therapist is a critical factor in the success of your treatment. This becomes especially important when finding a therapist for your child. These tips can help you choose the right therapist.
1. Find a Therapist Experienced in Treating Children Specifically
For some children, just the act of being put into therapy, though beneficial and necessary, can have unintended effects. It can make a child feel as if there is something wrong with them or that they have done something wrong. It can also lead to the application of labels that can have long term consequences. Finding a therapist who is aware of these effects and has strategies to minimize them can save trouble in the future.
2. Ensure the Therapist is Sensitive, Compassionate and Humble
Believe it or not, the demeanor and personal approach of a therapist can be even more important than their technical approach. Studies have shown that competent and qualified therapists achieve similar success rates, regardless of the techniques they employ. So, the question you need to answer first is simply: is this therapy provided by a good therapist? A therapist who embodies the above qualities should be able to relate to your child and their worldview, which is the most important factor in successful treatment.
3. Avoid Therapists That Pathologize Your Child
There may be a need to make a formal diagnosis, so this doesn’t mean you should avoid therapists who identify pathologies. However, your child’s therapist should see your child and speak about them as a person independent of it. An example of pathologizing may be something like referring to your child as an anxious child rather than a child struggling with anxiety. You know that your child is more than the symptoms they experience and a good therapist should know this, too.
4. Find a Therapist Who is Understanding
For a therapist to effectively treat a child, they have to understand some key things. First, they must understand that their presence in the child’s life is temporary and that their support is secondary. This means a therapist understands your child’s support network and engages parents and caregivers to help provide long-term solutions. It’s also just as important that the therapist understands your child’s culture and background instead of dismissing it. Otherwise their solutions may be ineffective at best or harmful at worst.
At CBT Counseling Centers, we understand what is required to provide treatment to children in a way that has a positive impact. If you believe your child could benefit from treatment from a trained and competent therapist, please give us a call at 828-350-1177 today to get started.