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David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience:  Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
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How do you choose the right child Psychotherapist

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How do you choose the right child Psychotherapist?

Therapist :

Thanks for bringing your question to JA.com. Do you mind if I ask a few questions to get a better sense of your situation and clinical needs?

Therapist :

.......

Therapist :

You must be busy with another task right now. That's ok. I'll leave my questions with you hear and check back shortly for your response. I look forward to assisting you with my answer.

Therapist :

Questions:

Therapist :

1. What problem, issue or challenge with your daughter has brought you to look for a child psychotherapist?

Therapist :

2. Are there any formally recognized or diagnosed medical or psychological conditions that may be contributing to your reason for seeking therapy for your daughter?

Therapist :

3. What specific behaviors of concern have contributed on your daughter's part to seeking a therapist for her? A short snapshot example of any such behavior or behaviors would be very helpful here. Do these behaviors take place in certain situations, during certain activities or around certain people (i.e. adults and/or peers)?

Therapist :

I see you're back. Great. I'll wait for your response if you have a moment.

Therapist :

And I also see we are talking about your son not your daughter.

Therapist :

Sorry for that.

Therapist :

No it is your daughter..I'll wait for your response - lol

Customer:

My daughter feels depressed and has cut her self; not to the point to hurt her self but it also makes her fell better when she does. I am affraid at some point she wil cut to huert herself.

Customer:

No sorry it is my daughter

Therapist :

No problem

Therapist :

I've very sorry to hear that you're daughter's cutting. When did it start?

Customer:

It started about June of last year. We talked about why she was depressed and it is with kids at school. So much drama. She stop until recently she did again 2 weeks ago

Therapist :

Ok. I see you're typing I'll wait to read more.

Customer:

It also is me-pushing to hard. I am divorsed and I am the parent who has structure and the other doesnt. So I push harder on my end.

Customer:

I am just looking for someone who can sit her down and listen to her. She has a hard time opening up to people she doesnt know-which is understandable.

Therapist :

That must be so difficult for you as a father at times!

Customer:

Yes it is. Now that she is going through her teenage years. I find that kids these days are so depressed bases on how their perrs treat each other

Therapist :

Yes negative-peer socialization effects, teasing, bullying, there's a lot to manage. Is your question more about finding a therapist or finding an evidence-based treatment approach that will help her to resolve her issues or both?

Customer:

Both-I just want her not to be depressed and fall back to cutting to make herself feel bad. I am trying to get her into sports for the team concept. and she does work out with me.

Therapist :

Oh that's great! Supervised extra-curricular activities and high parental involvement with you. Those are protective for her now and developmentally.

Therapist :

What city and state are you in?

Customer:

I am in Littleton Colorado. But also have a house in Castle Rock Colorado. they are 30 miles from each other.

Therapist :

I'd like to do a search of therapists in your area who would have the right kind of training to both build strong therapeutic rapport with your daughter and look at proven strategies to help her at school etc.

Customer:

That would be great.

Therapist :

Thank you. Have you noticed any changes in her academic performance with the depression like behaviors?

Therapist :

Is her mom open to a more consistent approach with you?

Customer:

No-She does great in school.

Therapist :

Wonderful that she's doing well in school.

Customer:

No, mom has her own stile and will not really listen. I have treid, it works for awhile then changes back.

Therapist :

That's to bad.

Therapist :

Does your daughter have any behavioral issues apart from cutting?

Customer:

No-

Therapist :

Is there any history' of depression in your family or in your daughter's mother's family?

Customer:

We talk on a regular basis, she not depressed all the time but does get in the moods.

Customer:

There is no history in the family.

Therapist :

Excellent on both points. Thank you for your patience here. I'm so used to dealing with "out-of-control" teen scenarios. I get the picture now. It's much, much more positive.

Therapist :

Let me look for therapists in your area. I'm thinking a child cognitive-behavioral therapist.

Customer:

Yeah-she is not out of control-School drama is hard and dad needs to learn to let go of the rope a little and not push to hard. I have ask her why she felt it was necessary to cut her self when she feels bad, she really doesnt know.

Customer:

She also gets upset with me when I ask how she is doing all the time. Maybe it is from the psyshe classes in college I took.

Therapist :

I hear you. My concern is that such behavior may serve an attention seeking, and as you say a mood regulation function.

Therapist :

Some one who can really listen to her and connect like you say. But also work clinically to get rid of the cutting.

Customer:

Yes I agree. She needs someone other then her father for her to listen. One who she feels won't judge or get upset.

Therapist :

OK. Is there anything else you'd like to add before I do a therapist search in your area? I'll also provide some suggestions for how to select and work with a therapist in my "answer."

Therapist :

Its really refreshing to talk to such a positively inovled parent!

Customer:

No-I am thankful for the talk-Should I hold on in the room to wait for your answer?

Therapist :

I thing to

Therapist :

do is give me about 30 minutes. I'll come back and post my answer for you. An e-mail will be sent out as soon as I return.

Therapist :

you can then check the answer and decide if it's helpful or not. Does that make sense?

Customer:

Thank you-I sometimes feel I get so involved I smoter her

Customer:

Yes it does.

Therapist :

Ok I'll be back soon. Bye for now...

Therapist :

Ok I’ve done a search of the psychology today find a therapist site and broke it down to finding a CBT trained therapist. In my view having your daughter work with a woman is ideal. In my experience working with 100’s of teens it just makes sense for being able to form a strong rapport and to intimate self-disclosure around peer and social issues.


From what I’m reading your daughter is quite bright. Her strong academic performance tells me that she’ll easily learn cognitive and or behavioral strategies for putting the cutting on extinction and working out the issues that currently supports it. It’s an ideal clinical scenario for turning a negative into a real positive.


I’ve selected a few therapists that look like good starting points for contact. I’ve also included a link with the more comprehensive list. I think a CBT trained therapist to put a stronger evidence based focus on that cutting in addition to strong counseling skills.


I would start by contacting these therapists I’ve indicated. So many therapists are very busy these days as you mentioned. That may be part of why you contacted JA.com for an answer. I would call as many CBT trained female therapists and if they’re totally booked, ask to be placed on their waiting list. I’d also ask for referrals. Let these therapists know about how high functioning and bright your daughter is.


Working with a good Master’s level clinician can be very cost effective, vs. a clinical psychologist. Training and licensure insures strong basic skills in monitoring for life interfering behaviors related to cutting. They can indicate to you quickly if more specialized intervention is needed. It can’t hurt always ask about a sliding pay scale as well to save money, unless you have strong insurance coverage.


Don’t be afraid of trying a couple or a few therapists out. What is critical to therapeutic or counseling outcomes as you probably remember from your psychology background, is a strong positive relationship between your daughter and her therapist. I’m sure your daughter will let you know how she feels. A good therapist will identify quickly if there is week rapport and refer for the sake of their client. High involvement on the part of your daughter meeting and selecting a therapist will increase her buy-in and involvement.


Here are some therapists I thought may be a good start. Even if they are not right in your area, it may be good to send an e-mail enquiry requesting a referal:


 


http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_detail.php?profid=67453&sid=1300995750.6352_26180&city=Boulder&county=Boulder&state=Colorado&trtmnt_orient=1


 


http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_detail.php?profid=86095&sid=1300995750.6352_26180&city=Boulder&county=Boulder&state=Colorado&trtmnt_orient=1


http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_detail.php?profid=62257&sid=1300997944.326_8025&city=Littleton&state=Colorado


 


Here is a good list of Therapists to Explore in your Area:


http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_results.php?sid=1300996768.8344_2903&city=Littleton&state=Colorado&s6=1


 


I hope this answer is helpful to you along with our brief exchange. Again, great work as father! I wish you and your daughter the very, very best

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