If you notice your child struggling with their mental health, it is good to be proactive about seeking professional help. For a start, you may reach out to your child’s paediatrician or GP as they may be able to outline what are the areas of help your child needs. You may also approach your child’s school guidance counsellors or other parents who have children with similar problems.
Once you have shortlisted a few psychologists, it is good to speak with them directly to see if they are a good fit for your child. These are some helpful questions to ask:
These are some advice for selecting a psychologist:
Sometimes your child may be reluctant to see a psychologist. An experienced paediatric psychologist will possess the strategies to overcome this. Some ways that parents may help is by not forcing their child to attend the session, and being assuring and understanding towards their child’s initial difficulties, as he/she may feel embarrassed about sharing his/her problems. You may start by checking in with your child, saying, “I notice you seem to get annoyed with me more often.” If the problems persist, you may suggest, “I don’t always have the answers to your problems. It may be helpful to talk to someone who is trained to help children in these areas.”
Even when therapy has started, it is good for parents to continue to be a part of the treatment process. Have a conversation with the psychologist about how you may continue to support your child daily.