All counselors are not equal when it comes to achieving success with an adolescent. Only if a therapist has a detailed working knowledge of teen counseling is he or she likely to succeed in getting the best results for a teen.
Even though it can be difficult to find the right counselor, I’m sure you want to know the best ways to find what type of counselor is most likely to get your child back on track.
The initial pool of expert therapists comes from local professionals such as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and mental health counselors who are licensed to practice independently.
Remember, the right child and youth counselors aren’t just helpful; they are crucial to the long-term success of your teens.
Many counselors or therapists can be successful with your child for a short time. With enough personality and a few good jokes, most therapists can create some examples of short-term success. But it should not stop there.
Jokes and kind lectures only work for so long. It’s important for your teen’s counselor to lay the proper foundation for your child’s stability in the years to come.
Remember that you are not just spending a few days solving your children’s behavior problem; you strive for long-term stability in his/her personal relationships, academic success, and future family and professional life.
To address your adolescent’s anxiety, aggression, or other behavioral issues, counselors look at the root causes of the specific issues, then deftly apply their expertise, experience, and credentials to resolve them in the long run.
Key Questions: Does your teen counselor help by being available after school or on weekends, or do you struggle to get an appointment when he or she can barge in on you? Is he/she part of your insurance plan? Does he have over 10 years of experience treating teens? Will he or she be able to build a solid bond with your child or will the child just roll their eyes?
At the initial consultation, a skilled child and adolescent therapist should work with you to assess your child’s specific issues, which feelings and behaviors should be eliminated, which should be reinforced, and which goals should be reinforced. With your feedback, he or she will draw up a clear treatment plan, one that you can understand. He will immediately answer your calls and even communicate with your children’s teachers if necessary.
Psychiatrists have medical degrees and receive little training in child therapy. They are mainly used to prescribe psychoactive drugs.
Psychologists, on the other hand, have a doctorate in counseling or psychology and are primarily trained in the provision of therapy, counseling, and research and assessment services. Social workers have a master’s degree in social work and are usually trained in social work and counseling; mental health counselors have the master’s degree with most of their training in counseling.
The best therapists are in constant communication with you and will encourage you to do the same. They will orient you and the teachers on ways to control your children’s behaviors that have the greatest chance of success.
More than likely, the treatment plan will encourage you to change how you say what you say to your child. The treatment plan is driven by your children’s most powerful motivators, so it will encourage active cooperation rather than resistance. Using effective communication skills, consequence programming, and strength orientation, an expert counselor can help you transform your teen from self-defeating to self-actualizing.
What is the easiest way to find the right child psychologist or counselor? Just do a web search using some or all of these keywords: child, adolescent, counselor, teen, psychologist (and your location), for example, Woodstock or Cary, Illinois.
Remember: Check years of experience, percentage of practice dedicated to teens (must be at least 25%), state licensure, and acceptance of your insurance plan.