Noticing and recognizing your child needs professional help to work through an issue is a big step for a parent. No one is more precious to you than your little one, and getting him the help he needs is a task you don't take lightly. Not only do you want to see your child overcome and thrive, but you want to make sure you know how to find a therapist for your toddler that will be the right fit. Accomplishing all this can be a challenge, to say the least. But with a few good jumping off points, you can search out your area for quality counselors and find one to work with your toddler.
When I started searching for a therapist to help with my son's anxiety, I began by simply asking around. I was grateful to anyone who could provide me with a name, as word of mouth proved to be one of the best ways to discover where to go and where not to go when it comes to mental health counselors for kids. But the good news is, even if you don't know anyone who has used a child therapist before, you can try these seven easy ways to hunt one down (and you won't even have to change out of your pajamas to do it).
1. Ask A Friend
Work your network for a good referral to a counselor for your child. As Psych Central explained, a friend who has had a positive experience with a child and adolescent therapist is your most reliable source. If none of your friends have used a therapist, have some of your most trusted pals ask their friends as well. With your squad working for you, you'll have some names to choose from soon enough.
2. Use A Database
Utilize databases that connect mental health providers to parents like you, by doing a search by your area. Use comprehensive websites like the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the American Board of Professional Psychology allows you to enter you find certified practitioners near you by entering your zip code.
3. Ask A Teacher/Counselor
Teachers and school counselors are a great resource when it comes to finding help for your child. If your child is in preschool, ask her teacher if she has any recommendations for therapist. If your little doesn't go to school, ask teachers you know to give you any information they may have on reputable counselors in the area.
4. Read Online Reviews
Did you know clients can review therapists online? To help you narrow down the right one for your child, check out what people have to say on the website Health Grades, and the feedback could make your decision easier.
5. Get A Referral From Your Pediatrician
Make an appointment or call your child's pediatrician's office to inquire about therapists they recommend. Many doctors have working relationships with each mental health care providers and can point you in the right direction.
6. Source Locally
With a quick online search you can find listings of therapists in your area who are members of local mental health associations, as the website for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggested.
7. Search Your Insurance List
If you have health insurance, check to see if mental health care is covered in your policy. From there you can find a list of therapists in your network and use this as a spring board to find the right counselor for your toddler.