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After many trial and errors in the world of therapy via counseling, I have come up with some suggestions that may just help other parents.  I am discussing a counselor by the definition of – a person trained to give guidance on personal, social, or psychological problems.

How to Choose a Counselor for your Child

The time has come, you have done all what you feel you are capable of doing for your child; your child needs the guidance of a professional trained to help children overcome various situations or disorders. There are a multitude of reasons why a parent may wish to seek counseling services for their child, this could range from mood disorders to anxiety or even assistance in helping the child cope with a parents divorce. Whatever the reason you feel your child could benefit from counseling; there are some important things to think about and note before choosing a counselor for your child.

  • Be Aware of Personality Traits that Work Best for your Child – Every person, whether young or old, opens up better to a person who has a specific tone or energy about them. Everyone feels comfortable opening up when they are speaking with a person who is able to display the personality traits that match with who they are as an individual. For example, a child who doesn’t respond well to strict demands, may not be well suited with a strict, demanding counselor personality.
  • What Type of Experience Does the Counselor Have – Nothing is worse than getting into a session with a counselor just to find out that they have no clue what is going on. Be sure that the counselor you choose for your child has experiences with the situation or issue that your child is facing. A counselor working with a child should also have some experience in adolescence, not just adults. Do not be afraid to ask the counselor about their experiences and expertise in the area you are seeking therapy for.
  • Meet With Multiple Counselors in Multiple Locations If Need Be – Be aware that counseling is therapy to help your child, if at any point you feel that this counselor is not a good fit for your child, do not be afraid to ask the counselor for references to other locations or other counselors. A counselor is someone who is trained to help people, which means they know that they may not be the best fit for every family. It’s important that you and your child feel confident in the therapy sessions, otherwise it’s a waste of everyone’s time to attend, including the counselor’s time.
  • Listen to and Trust your Child – You are the parent, you are the one person in this world who has spent a majority of your child’s life with them. Listen to your child, if he/she is not comfortable with their counselor then it’s not a good-fit for your child. Therapy is there to help your child overcome whatever may be going on, if the child isn’t confident and comfortable during sessions then it won’t be beneficial to their emotional growth. With that being said, some anxious children may take time to adjust to a new person. Just be open minded and listen.

There are so many things to think about before picking the best counselor for your child, but ultimately you are the one who calls the shots. Therapy is there to help you as a parent and help your child be a kid and move on from whatever is happening. Sometimes, a child may be diagnosed with a mental health issue and will require ongoing therapy to ensure their emotional growth. There are other scenarios where a child simple experienced some trauma, whether minor or major, and simply needs some therapy to clear their mind and move forward.

Whatever scenario you find yourself in, remember that your child’s feelings are valid and if you feel they need some therapy to cope with their feelings so that they can engage in a healthy, fun loving childhood then do not be afraid to seek a good-fit counselor. Therapy is there to help everyone and it does not mean that something is wrong with you or your child; seeking therapy simply means you are being a strong parent who realizes they need some help for their loved one.

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

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Written by brandyellen

Brandy is a born and raised New Hampshire resident who loves to spend extra time laughing & smiling with her three children. Brandy runs multiple blogs & she loves to tweet daily and ramble on Facebook. Author, with her daughter, of Positive Girl - The Power of Your Thoughts Question about this post or something found within it? Read my Disclosure Policy as well as Terms of Use.

This article has 22 comments

  1. MommaDJane (374 comments)

    Sometimes advocating for our children is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Finding a quality counselor that truly cares about the child and works hard to get them the help they need while being mindful of medications is not always easy to come by. Great tips!

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) (232 comments)

    I agree with everything you said. My little man has sensory issues and he doesn’t have a counselor, but I look for those same things in his teacher.

  3. Jamie (27 comments)

    Very informative tips and suggestions! I think it’s import and for kids to feel comfortable with someone other than their parents to talk to and express feelings.

  4. Jessica (100 comments)

    I think it is SO important to simply listen to your child, no matter how old they are. It’s also helpful when the counsel or therapist actually know how to do their job well. When it comes to our children, it’s best to “shop around” first and find the best fit for them.

  5. brett (38 comments)

    being a parent can be so, so hard. i worked at an office back in the day with counselors- the right counselor can do so much for someone

  6. Melissa (63 comments)

    These are really great tips. It works even for therapists. We had to go through quite a few to find a good speech therapist for my son.

  7. Janeane Davis (10 comments)

    It is important to find good counselors, therapists and assistants of all kinds for our children. I think the tips you listed here will help make life better for a lot of families.

  8. Janel (20 comments)

    I have four little boys. Every single one of them has a completely different personality. I’ve noticed I have to approach and discipline each of them in totally different ways.

  9. Rosey (1017 comments)

    It’s so hard, I think, to find the perfect fit, but so worth it when you do! I like that you note to trust the child.

  10. Amy Desrosiers (25 comments)

    I remember when my sister was little she needed a counselor.It took so long for my mom to find one that she actually liked, and got along with. Thanks for these tips to help other parents.

  11. Shell (42 comments)

    What great advice on finding a counselor for your child. I do think it’s so important to listen to your child’s input. If they say they don’t like their counselor, don’t just assume it’s because they don’t want to go. It might truly be the wrong fit.

  12. katherine bartlett (1 comments)

    I haven’t come down this road but this is good advice

  13. Piera (4 comments)

    Thanks for the wonderful tips! It is so important to listen to your child and find out what/who they are comfortable with.

  14. Chrishelle (3 comments)

    Great tips. It is very important to listen to your child when you are trying to select a counselor. If there is not a good dynamic between the child and teacher there will not be much progress made.

  15. Liza @ Views From the 'Ville (3 comments)

    A friend of mine mentioned that her daughter was getting nowhere with her counselor, and part of the reason was the counselor was significantly older and couldn’t relate on topics like Facebook, iPhones, etc. While it might seem odd, it definitely can be a stumbling block, apparently!

  16. The Funster (1 comments)

    Brandy,
    Another really good post! I like your 4 key points! I especially agree that you need to listen to your child. If they’re expressing anxiety or concern regarding the counselor, then it almost certain that they won’t be open with them either. Great informative post!