How to Choose a Psychiatrist for Your Child’s Mental Health
Children and adolescents undergo a lot of mental changes during their development, than what most parents dare to believe. They are always processing and trying to understand the world and how they fit into this big world.
Without proper care, children will normally get lost in their minds and by the time they get to teenage hood they are unrecognizable. Mental health, just like physical health is not to be taken lightly.
Proper child mental health will mean a happier, confident and more productive child. However, the area of child and adolescent mental health is unfamiliar to many parents. Therefore, the journey is very bewildering.
Statistics show that only one in five children who need help will actually receive it. At times, because parents aren’t aware or stigma or a shortage of excellent psychiatrists.
Another uphill task is looking for the right psychiatrist in Richardson, TX, who will understand your child’s psyche. What is even more puzzling is figuring out whether your child needs a psychiatrist.
Does Your Child Need help?
Before we even dive into the steps that you can take to choose a psychiatrist, you need to ask yourself if you think that your child needs help.
Worrisome changes in your child’s behavior such as sadness, anxiousness, withdrawal, and even a sudden disinterest in hobbies, is an indicator that something is wrong. On the other hand, there are kids whose symptoms might manifest physically such as unexplained headaches, sleep disturbances and changes in appetite.
These are tell-tale signs that your baby might need a psychiatrist near you.
Imagine the time when you tell your child that you are taking your car to the mechanic, he or she already deduces that the car is getting fixed. When you go to the hospital, you are getting medical help.
Therefore, when you walk into an office of a mental health professional, the first thought that might cross his or her mind is am coming to get fixed. Your child might think that they have a problem and it all his or her fault.
This is where an experienced and excellent psychiatrist comes in play.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Psychiatrist
You will find thousands of psychiatrists in the city, and might be by the time you are through, you will be the one needing therapy. However, to sift through the long list you can ask the following questions:
Are You Licensed?
There are people who mislead others when they say that they are therapists yet they aren’t licensed. If a person lacks the proper license that qualifies them to treat pediatric mental health disorders or problems.
Licensing ensures that the professional can work within the state’s ethical and legal codes. Always look for the following:
- Licensed psychiatrist
- Licensed psychologist
- Licensed social worker
- Licensed counselor
- Licensed family and marital therapist
What Treatments Are Available?
Each psychiatrist will use treatments that they believe work best. You should inquire if the treatment is supported by scientific data, since research will always support the use of specific therapies.
What Is the Treatment Plan?
A psychiatrist will always have to disclose their treatment plan. This will include what they plan to do and how the plan will tackle your child’s issue. Also, it will show the benchmarks of progress to know if the treatment is working or it needs to be tweaked.
The plan should also reveal the expected length of the therapy.
What to Look for In a Psychiatrist
For your child to get the help that he or she needs, you need a psychiatrist who knows what they are doing. Consider the following:
- It’s All About Relationships
It is estimated that close to 85% of the change in a child is attributed to the relationship between the psychiatrist and the child. If you notice that your child is not forming any bond with the therapist, look for another. An excellent therapist can engage a reluctant kid.
- It’s Always About Helping Not Condemning
A psychiatrist should always be open to see your child’s strengths and hear what solutions you or your child are offering to solve the problem. The problem is typically a way of coping and a good therapist knows this.
- It’s About Context
A child’s problem should be put in the correct context (where the child lives). The psychiatrist has to look at the environment and the culture in which the child is being raised in. Also, the problem is seen as a complex rather than blaming either the child or the parent.
If you think that your child needs immediate assistance, do not hesitate to call our psychiatrist in Richardson, TX. At Texas Psychiatry Associates, we have competent psychiatrists near you.