Finding A Child Therapist Near Us

By Mary Elizabeth Dean|Updated June 27, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Lauren Guilbeault, LMHC
As parents, we try to give our children the best lives possible by giving them the tools they need to lead happy and successful lives. However, sometimes your child needs more than you can provide. Even if you happen to be a physician or a psychologist yourself, it’s important to find a professional like an online therapist you can trust when your child is struggling with a mental health issue.        
 
child counselors are within reach, and are accessible with the right tools to find them.
Getting Your Child The Help They Need Shouldn't Be Difficult
 
As a parent, before searching "find a children's therapist near me", a good place to start is looking at the reason(s) why you think your child needs to see a professional therapist like psychologists or licensed therapists. For example, is your child showing signs of anxiety? Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States. In fact, research has found that anxiety affects approximately 18.1 percent of the population – equivalent to about 40 million people – every year.
 
In other words, it’s very common and there are ways to help your child or children. Luckily, due to the prevalence of these disorders, there is a variety of ways to treat anxiety through treatment options like attending therapy sessions and counseling. Recent research based on evidence based practices shows that cognitive therapy on its own significantly improves anxiety symptoms and even causes complete recovery from anxiety for about 85 percent of people tested. If your child is living with anxiety, you’re not alone and neither are they. Many other parents have been in your shoes, so there is no shame in asking for help, and you can learn a lot from searching 'child therapist near me'.

Statistics

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), just over 25 percent of children between the ages of 13 and 18 have an anxiety disorder. There are several types of anxiety such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (PD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Some signs that your kid may have an anxiety disorder include:
  • Nightmares
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Increased agitation or anger
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Lack of interest in favorite activities
  • Trouble concentrating and remembering things
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Constantly worrying about everything or just one certain thing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating more than usual
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Nervousness or being on edge

Why So Sad?

Everyone gets sad sometimes. Sadness is a normal human emotion, and it’s a common experience for people of all ages. This is why therapy sessions practicing cognitive behavioral therapy have increased in popularity. However, if you find a child you know shows signs of sadness for no obvious reason and it lasts for more than a few weeks, it may be a sign that the child is depressed. Similar to anxiety disorders, there are different types of depression. These include major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), psychotic depression, and bipolar disorder; older female children can also experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Some of the signs of depression in children include:
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Acts of aggression or agitation for no obvious reason
  • Sadness for longer than two weeks
  • Feelings of hopelessness or low self-esteem
  • Talking about death or dying

*Note: If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255, and is available 24/7.

My Child Cannot Sit Still

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is by far the most common mental illness seen in children and adolescents. Previously known as attention-deficit disorder (ADD), many people confuse these two names, but they refer to the same disorder. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this common disorder affects more than six million adolescents in the United States.

What exactly is ADHD? It is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that is most often diagnosed in kids between the ages of six and nine. Researchers are still not sure what causes the condition, but the science behind it shows that kids with ADHD have unusual neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Some of the signs of ADHD include:

  • Hyper or restless behavior
  • Inability to concentrate or pay attention
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Inability to control impulsive behaviors
  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Difficulty listening or understanding instructions
  • Poor organization or management
  • A tendency to lose or misplace things often
  • Often distracted or forgetful
  • Inability to sit still
  • Talks too much
  • Behavioral problems at home or in school
  • Displays little or no patience
It’s important to note that the medical community acknowledges that the facts are a bit murky when it comes to diagnosing ADHD. Just because a child exhibits the symptoms listed above, it does not necessarily mean that this child has ADHD. You’ll want several opinions from different doctors and licensed therapists before accepting a formal diagnosis.

The Types Of Mental Illnesses

While there are more than 200 different types of mental illnesses, the ones described above are the three most common disorders that affect children under the age of 18. If your child has any of the above symptoms or if any of their behaviors concern you, it’s time to reach out to child therapists for help. Whether your child has signs of depression, anxiety, ADHD, behavioral problems, or another mental or emotional condition, finding the right child therapists is important. Some therapists specialize in specific areas like working with children who have cerebral palsy, so it's best to do research and make sure to find the best one for your child if your child has cerebral palsy or another condition.

Finding A Child Counselor Near You

You may be wondering how to find child therapists or book an appointment. There are many helpful websites you can use, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) psychologist locator, where you can search for a child therapist near you using your zip code or address. As a parent, supporting your kid comes first, but what happens when you need someone to support you in that process as parents with families? It’s critical for you to make sure you’re taking care of your own needs in your life, so that you can be there for your kid. Many parents have used online counseling platforms, because they allow you to see someone on your life schedule (without adding the stress of another drive to another appointment).

The Psychologist Specializations

Psychologists who specialize in adolescent psychology work in many different settings, including hospitals, schools, private practice, and research. Depending on what your kid needs, you can find the right type of psychologist with a bit of research. Each adolescent psychologist has a unique specialty, and you should be aware of this when searching for a pediatric psychologist.

The Types of Psychologists

  • Abnormal psychologists — typically work with children and adolescents who are struggling with a mental health disorder. These include anxiety, depression, and other personality and mood disorders.
  • Adolescent psychologists — mainly work with children between the ages of 12 and 18-years-old who are struggling with mental illness. These include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and behavioral conditions.
  • Developmental psychologists — usually focus on the development of children, but they can also follow their conditions through adulthood.
  • School psychologists — work in the educational system to help children and adolescents with academic, social, behavioral, and emotional issues.
  • Educational psychologists — study how individuals learn, including differences in learning ability, learning disabilities, and gifted learners.

Psychologists And Treatment Methods

Child psychologists use a variety of treatment methods to work with different conditions. Whether you take your child to a traditional counselor or use online therapy, your psychologist will develop a treatment plan that is likely to include one or more of these six choices:
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) works beautifully for children because it teaches them how to replace their negative thoughts with positive ones and how to cope with and control their behavior.
  • Social skills therapy helps children who are struggling with their interaction skills in everyday life. This could include making friends, interacting with adults, making eye contact, or even holding a simple conversation with someone.
  • Traumatic-based therapy is often best for children who have been exposed to a traumatic situation, such as the death of a loved one, abuse, neglect, natural disasters, or a major accident.
  • Grief counseling is similar to traumatic-based therapy in that it deals with a traumatic situation, but it only involves healing after the death or loss of a loved one. Children do not process the loss of a loved one the way adults do, so they need special support at this delicate time.
  • Family therapy involves treating the entire family as a unit. This is good for those with behavioral issues or those with a troubled family issue, such as divorce or abuse.
  • Group therapy can be helpful for children who need to build social skills and self-esteem. It lets children know that they are not the only ones feeling the way they do.
If your child has been having issues at school, isolating themselves, or experiencing behavioral problems, you should not wait and see if it goes away. This is especially important if they have been exposed to a traumatic situation, such as abuse, violence, or a natural disaster.
 
Children can learn to start hiding their feelings if they think you’re making a big deal out of them or if you’re avoiding the issue. It’s best to talk to your child about what is bothering them or tell them why you’re concerned. However, be careful to avoid becoming obsessive about it. If they do not want to talk to you, drop it gently, but let them know that you are there if they need you. Then, find a top-rated psychologist who can help you address the situation. You can ask the psychologist for evidence-based suggestions on how to approach your child, so they can support you while you support your child.

Family Therapy

If your child is young, you will likely need to attend a counseling session with them at least once to help them feel more comfortable, but psychologists typically like to talk to children alone as well. It’s essential for the psychologist to see how your child behaves while you’re not around because it may help them see signs of certain conditions that are not as evident when you’re in the room. At some point, the psychologist may want to see the entire family as well to give them clues about how the family interacts, so they can implement the most effective treatment plan possible.

Solutions

In conjunction with therapy, there are a few other things you can do to help your child.
 
Get Involved. Having the support and love of a parent is crucial for your child’s success. Kids feel more confident and stable when they know they can count on the adults in their lives.
 
Get Moving. Talk a walk around the block together. You can use this time to talk about problems and brainstorm ways to overcome them. As a bonus, exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which will put a little pep in both of your steps.
 
Encourage Journaling. Having a creative outlet can be a great thing for a child. If you give them their own private space to document and express their problems, it will be easier for them to cope. You may also provide colored pencils and other art supplies during this process, as some children benefit from art therapy.

Seeking Help

Getting Your Child The Help They Need Shouldn't Be Difficult
 
If can be hard to find a child psychologist for child therapy or child counseling, but with a little research, you’re sure to find the support you need. With a platform like BetterHelp, you can choose traditional face-to-face therapy or online therapy, which can be a great option for parents. BetterHelp also has a service specifically for children aged 13-18 years old, at TeenCounseling. Online therapy will allow you and your child to communicate with a psychologist via video conferencing, phone, email, text, or live chat.

As the world’s largest online counseling service, BetterHelp and TeenCounseling has helped millions of people and families. In fact, BetterHelp has been found to be just as effective as in-person therapy, with 98% of users making significant progress in their mental health journeys and 94% preferring it to face-to-face therapy. One study published by the American Psychological Association found that internet-based treatment for adolescent anxiety is on-par with in-person treatment for adolescent anxiety.

No matter what signs or symptoms you’re seeing, do not hesitate to contact an online psychologist right away if you need help. It can sometimes take weeks or even months to get an appointment with a traditional psychologist, but online psychologists like the ones on BetterHelp.com are available 24/7. Furthermore, BetterHelp operates outside of traditional working hours, making it easier than ever to schedule an appointment. Sessions can be conducted via video chat, phone call, instant messaging/texting, or live voice recording – whatever works best for you and your child! Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp and TeenCounseling counselors, from parents experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“Dr. Torres is amazing with the things she is doing with my 13 year old daughter. My daughter has recently been bullied which caused her to be angry and lack of motivation skills was 0. No confidence in herself. She would not go anywhere or do anything. When my daughter spoke with Dr Torres for the first time, a few days later she picked up herself and started to go out and wanted to do things with me and by herself, she also wants to sign up for dance. I was completely amazed, everyone I spoke to was amazed. I’d also like to add that Dr. Torres is kind, patient, calm and very warm and friendly to me and my daughter. Every time I tell my daughter Dr. Torres is calling, a big smile comes on her face, it’s so wonderful to see that. I know will still have a long journey to go, and I cant wait to see what happens next, I am so glad I signed my daughter up for this. Please keep up the excellent work.”

“I’ve been using BetterHelp for a while now and have really enjoyed working with Rachel. I’m a mom to a young child and having the ability to message her or schedule live sessions is a game changer. She is very kind and attentive to my feelings and concerns and gives me helpful insight. I have genuinely appreciated her support and benefited greatly from spending time working with her.”

Conclusion

If your child is experiencing anxiety, depression, or another mental disorder, seeking help with a child therapist is the best thing you can do. An experienced child psychologist can give you and your child the support both of you deserve. Take the first step by connecting with BetterHelp's mental health professionals today.

FAQs 

When should children start seeing a therapist?

This will vary based on the child's individual thinking, speech, and other factors, but some therapists start seeing children by themselves around the ages of 7-9. 

What do you call a child therapist?

Child therapists are sometimes referred to as a developmental psychologist. Many of these professionals focus on children and teenagers, though a therapist with any title can have therapy sessions or counseling sessions with children. This includes professionals with the titles of: Clinical Social Worker, Marriage & Family Therapist, Mental Health Counselor, Professional Counselor, and Psychologist.

Is it good for kids to go to therapy?

Child therapy can be beneficial, especially if for children who have challenges or problems that they cannot cope with alone. This could be as simple as talking about their feelings or learning new skills. Or it could help them find their strengths in life and feel more confident. Just because a child is attending therapy does not mean they have mental health issues.

When should I be concerned about my child's behavior?

Parents will likely be aware of their child's behavior, but it may become into concerning when a child exhibits lack of interest in activities, family, school, or friends. Or a parent may become concerned if their child displays feelings of distress or anguish. At that point, a counseling sessions might be beneficial for the child. 

How do I get my child to speak in therapy?

While every child will respond to therapy a little bit differently, a parent may consider calling therapy is like a "feelings doctor." You might also tell them that the therapist is there to help with feelings of sadness, madness, or happiness. Since they are already used to seeing the doctor when they have an ear infection or sore throat, this may be an easier comparison for them to understand, rather than explaining a therapist can help with mental health issues or provide them with coping skills for life's challenges.

What is the difference between therapist and psychologist?

They are very similar roles. However, a psychologist can do research, contributing to academic and clinical advances in the field of mental health. A therapist refers to a broader group of professionals who undergo training and licensing to work with a variety of people in a clinical setting. Both can help you understand treatment options for a specific challenge you may be facing. 

Why is my child so angry and defiant?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but anger issues in kids can be the result of conditions like anxiety, ADHD, autism, or learning disorders. If you have concerns about your child's anger and defiance, it's best to consult a medical professional and get help do you don't have to navigate it alone. Your health insurance company can usually also point you in the direction of professionals who specialize in working with children. 

What causes a child to be disrespectful?

Again, this will vary greatly between children, but generally include poor problem-solving skills and not knowing how to show respect as they mature and take on their own identities. 

Why is my child aggressive towards me? 

While a child's actions might be perceived as aggressive, they're likely the result impulsive decision-making. In these situations, the child is likely not to consider the consequences of their actions, so their words and actions may come across in an aggressive way. 

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