Parents of a child with behavioral problems or mental health issues often seek help from child psychologists. There are many important points to consider when trying to choose the best child psychologist. Parents should thoroughly investigate the psychologist's credentials to ensure that he or she is qualified for the job. Since many psychologists specialize in a certain age group or type disorder, it is important to consider a professional's area of expertise to ensure quality treatment. Parents can receive additional information about how to choose the best child psychologist by consulting with social workers and other mental health professionals.
A parent or caregiver can begin the quest to choose the best child psychologist by conducting an Internet search of local professionals. After identifying several candidates, the parent can make calls to the appropriate offices or clinics to obtain information about their credentials. Some practicing child psychologists have not yet earned their licenses; they are completing postgraduate internships under the supervision of other professionals. The fact that a psychologist is new does not mean that he or she cannot do a great job, but some parents might prefer to choose someone with more experience.
Another factor to consider when trying to choose the best child psychologist is the type of services that different professionals offer. A particular psychologist might, for example, specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy. Such a psychologist can help a child who struggles with behavioral issues at work or school. He or she can help children understand why behavioral issues arise and learn what to do to better control their actions.
Parents may be more concerned with their child's interpersonal relationships than their behavioral issues. A child and family psychologist can hold group therapy sessions with children and their family members, so that individuals can learn to better communicate and work together to avoid crises. Most psychologists or their receptionists will fully explain the services offered in a phone or in-person consultation.
If a parent is still unable to choose the best child psychologist, he or she can consult a social worker or general psychologist at a local mental health clinic. These professionals are typically very familiar with different child psychologists in their network, and can help find the best fit for a family. Finally, after a few sessions with a new psychologist, children and their parents can usually get a clear idea of whether or not he or she is right for their situation.