Your child’s doctor, health providers, family members, clergy, and friends may refer you to a trusted therapist. You may contact the American Psychological Association at (800) 964-2000, who can also direct you to the state or local referral agency. For members of health maintenance organizations, the plan will refer them to two or three providers.
Here is a set of questions you need to ask the prospective therapist:
- Is he a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist?
- What degrees does he have?
- Is he board-certified? (Psychologists are certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology; psychiatrists by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.)
- How long has he been practicing?
- What’s his specialty?
- What treatment does he usually use?
- How long does treatment usually take?
- What are his fees? Will he accept your insurance coverage? Does he have a sliding scale fee? Can he set up a payment plan?
It will help to have a therapist with expertise in other areas if your child has associated conditions too. For therapy to be effective, it is imperative that your child and you share a good rapport with the therapist.