How do I know if therapy can help my child?

Research shows that children who are experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges tend to do better when they have someone outside of their families with whom they can feel comfortable and can trust to share their experiences. We know that nowadays children are faced with significantly more stressors in contrast to past generations and we know that therapy is an effective intervention.

There may be many reasons that a child or adolescent may benefit from psychological support. At times, genetic vulnerability to emotional distress may play a role, life circumstances such as the loss of a loved one, family violence and conflict, sports injury, illness, and the experience of stress in any form may impair a child’s ability to function to his or her fullest potential. As a parent, you can provide your child with the gift of a safe and caring therapeutic relationship that can foster healing, teach skills, and increase resiliency to bolster children’s ability to cope with life’s challenges.

Will my child be put on medications?

As a psychologist, I don’t have authority to prescribe medication. However, if your child is having serious symptoms and difficulty coping with daily life, I may make a referral to a child and adolescent psychiatrist.  I would discuss this referral with you and if your child is prescribed medications I would work collaboratively with the treating physician so that all of us could carefully monitor side effects vs. benefits.This team approach could result in even better treatment for your child.

What if my child is so unsafe that he or she is out of control, suicidal, or homicidal?

You may reach me in the event of an emergency on 303-877-0897; however, I would suggest that you immediately go to your nearest emergency room for a psychiatric crisis evaluation if you are concerned for your child’s safety or the safety of others. If I am out of town and unavailable the name and contact number for a covering psychologist will be on my voice mail message.

Will you talk to my child’s school in the course of the treatment?

Yes, if you want me to coordinate therapy interventions with the school, all you need to do is sign a release of information and I’ll be pleased to contact school teachers, school psychologists, social workers, and anyone else involved in your child’s care.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A psychologist gets his or her education from a graduate school and has a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) or PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) degree. Psychologists are trained in diagnosis, theories, research, testing, and a wide range of therapeutic interventions including but not limited to adult and child psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and client centered therapy. Additionally, psychologists administer and interpret psychological tests that include: IQ, learning, emotional, behavioral, and personality tests.

Psychiatrists attend medical school, have a MD (Medical Doctor) or DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degree, are trained in the multiple complex biological processes involved in mood and behavioral disorders. They order blood work that measures hormone and medication levels to see if certain medications they prescribe are at a therapeutic level.

Usually, psychologists do psychological testing and therapy and psychiatrists do medication management. However, some psychiatrists receive advanced training in therapy and provide this service. Overall, I find it works best when I form a collaborative relationship with your psychiatrist resulting in the best outcome for your child.

Is what we talk about confidential?

I believe your trust in me is a fundamental aspect of your therapeutic relationship as it is in any close relationship. While privacy in a therapeutic relationship is key to developing a strong foundation, state laws and ethical guidelines are in place to ensure your child’s safety. A therapist is a mandated reporter if there is a suspicion of child abuse and neglect including physical and sexual abuse, child witness to domestic violence, unsafe living conditions, and/or elder abuse.

Additionally, if a you or your child expresses intent to self-harm, intent to harm others, and/or is gravely disabled due to mental illness I will discuss an appropriate plan of action with you, including notifying legally mandated parties to ensure the safety and well-being of those involved. Should any of these issues arise, I will help you manage this in a thoughtful, respectful, and collaborative manner.

Do you take insurance?

No, my practice is not accepting insurance. I will bill you directly for services provided. If you want to seek out of network provider reimbursement from your insurance carrier, I can provide you with a monthly “superbill” that has all the necessary information you need to submit. Please request this from me and I will sign you up for my online billing program.

Why don’t you take insurance?

I do not direct bill nor accept direct payments from insurance companies and I do not participate in insurance provider panels. If you found my information on an insurance listing, the information is outdated. By not billing insurance directly,  you  decide if and when you would like to release your confidential mental health information to your insurance company. This allows me to dedicate my focus to providing my clients with the best possible treatment.  It is your responsibility to pay in full for services at the time they are rendered.  Please contact your insurance company directly to determine your mental health coverage for out of network providers, so that you can budget appropriately for your treatment.

How long will therapy take?

The length of therapy can vary based on many factors. Generally, the longer a problem has existed the longer it can take to create new patterns and changes. That being said, if a client is consistent and committed to making changes and the more consistent you are with attending sessions and practicing new behaviors the more successful you will be. Oftentimes, parents play a role in this as well. For example, if a child has a fear of sleeping in his own bed and is working on sleeping independently, then when a parent allows a child to sleep with them, they may accidentally undo progress made and we start all over. Alternatively, when everyone is on board with the same goals and what is required to reach those goals, progress occurs more rapidly. When situations are complex and involve multiple issues, therapy can be a longer term process. Please talk openly with me to discuss how therapy is going for you, any concerns you may have about how long it is taking and we can make a plan to meet your needs. If you want to end therapy at any time, please share your ideas and we can make a plan to celebrate accomplishments.

Take the first step today to help your child or teen feel better!

Call me today to schedule a free consultation at 303-747-4014!

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