If you are a parent of a child that is exhibiting some signs of behavioral problems, you may be considering taking that child to a psychologist who specializes in treating young people. But as this is the first time you will have any kind of experience with this type of professional, here are the answers to some common questions parents ask about these health care specialists.
How Will Therapy Benefit My Child? -- Although child psychologists have different treatment methods, the common goal is to help children express themselves better and to establish enough trust that children are more willing to discuss what is troubling them or how they feel about certain situations, such as divorce, bullying and other stressful events that can negatively affect young lives. Creating an environment in which children feel safe and secure enough to reveal their deepest feelings can also have a positive effect on their interaction with parents and siblings.
What Is Play Therapy? -- Play therapy is a treatment method that some child psychologists employ to help children express themselves without even knowing that they are doing it. It is a psychological treatment method often used with young children, in which the psychologist will provide puzzles, building blocks and toys during the session, to help put a child at ease as the psychologist talks about that child's life, feelings and attitudes. The play portion of the session helps children feel as if they are in a normal environment, which puts them in a comfort zone that can facilitate an examination of their hidden emotions.
How Do You Handle Prescribing Medication? -- A child psychologist cannot by law prescribe any medication to a child in therapy, however, if the psychologist determines that your child may need some type of medication to control a chemical issue, a consultation with your pediatrician may be the best course of action, or a referral can be made to a child psychiatrist who under law is permitted to prescribe medication, because this type of specialist has the required medical degree.
What Is Early Intervention Therapy? -- Early intervention therapy is a treatment program child psychologists use for preschoolers who have developmental delays that are affecting their ability to read, speak and effectively communicate with parents and teachers. Child psychologists use a variety of methods, such as behavioural analysis and autism tests to design a program that can help improve a child's early development.
For more information, contact an experienced psychologist in your area.