How should you go about getting in touch with a therapist?
It’s a good idea to find a therapist who is reasonably close to where you live, near to where your child goes to school or easy to travel to. Visit Find a Therapist (add link to further up page) to find a child and adolescent psychotherapist near you and use the contact details provided to get in touch, usually by telephone. It may take the therapist a day or two to respond but you should get a reply fairly quickly.
What happens when you have made contact?
When you talk to the therapist, explain your concerns. The therapist will probably ask some questions and will indicate whether they might be in a position to help. In some cases they might be very busy and will refer you to another colleague in the area. Your call will of course be treated in confidence.
How much will it cost?
There is no standard scale of fees and all therapists will discuss their charges on an individual basis with their clients, just like any other professional. You should not feel inhibited about asking how much each stage will cost before you make an appointment.
How does treatment proceed?
The therapist will arrange an appointment with you for an initial consultation. This is usually just for the adults concerned, without the child present, and allows the therapist to gather some background information. The therapist will listen to your concerns in detail and try to get some understanding of the situation. They will explain how they work and the scale of fees they will charge. It’s important to ask any questions you have about how therapy works, and the practicalities involved.
If you are concerned about a teenager then the therapist may suggest that they accompany you to the initial consultation.
Following the initial consultation the therapist may suggest more parent sessions first, or they may suggest an assessment with the child or adolescent, which would involve coming with your child the first time and then some meetings with the child or adolescent on their own. After this there will be a feedback meeting when the therapist gives their recommendations. These could include working with the child or adolescent, working with the parents, or a combination of both.
How long does therapy last?
There is no standard duration for therapy - it may be only for a few sessions or a year and longer. Therapists will not prolong therapy for longer than is necessary and they will arrange review meetings with you once a term or once a year in order to discuss progress and decide how to proceed. Ongoing therapy means regular weekly appointments; consistency is important for the treatment to be successful and therefore does require commitment.
It tends to be the case that the deeper the problems, the longer the therapy will need to last. The longer the therapy, the more durable the improvements in behaviour and emotional stability are likely to be. Sometimes it is necessary to resume therapy for a short period when severe setbacks or life shocks have occurred, such as serious illness or bereavement.
- Search for a child and adolescent psychotherapists in your area.
- Learn more about child and adolescent psychotherapy.