Dear Dr. Michelle:
I was told that I should get my child into therapy to deal with his hyperactivity. How do I find a good therapist and then how do I know if the therapist is any good?
I commend you for considering the advice of others and taking the initiative to find the right help for your family. First things first - how to find a therapist. Below are great links to a directory of therapists searchable by location.
Start by reviewing the list of therapist’s posts and pay attention to the population they work with. Since you want therapy for your child, you would be happier if the therapist has actual experience working with children. You will also want to review the therapist's specialty. Since you need help understanding your child's hyperactivity, you'll want a therapist that has expertise wtih attention deficit issues, or rather, look for the acroynyms "ADHD" or "ADD." The next thing to evaluate is your preference for the therapist's personal demographics, such as their gender, age, race or ethnicity.
The next step in determining a good therapist is based on personal connect and fit. You deserve to have a therapist whom you feel connected to. Here are some basic questions to ask yourself as you evaluate fit:
- Does the therapist listen to you?
- Do they challenge you to think differently?
- Are they answering your specific questions?
- Do you respect them?
Most therapists are more than willing to spend some initial time explaining their style and philosophy on mental health and therapy, so do not hesitate to ask about their approach. If it does not feel right, find somebody else. Connection and fit are critical to good therapy, and like any other service, you should feel good about how you are spending your resources. One important thing to keep in mind is that no therapist has a magic wand. Therapy can take time and will require personal investment in the process to achieve success. I think you are already off to a great start simply by asking how to take the first step.
Dear Dr. Michelle blog posts are informational in nature. The posts are not meant to take the place of consulting your physician, mental health professional, or other qualified health providers regarding your well-being or the well-being of others. Submitting a question does not establish a client/therapist relationship.
Submit Your Question on mental health and/or family relations to Dr. Michelle K. Murray.