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How to choose a child psychologist-6 criteria

What kind of specialist to entrust a child or a teenager — says psychologist Victoria Melikhova.

What a child psychologist can and can’t do.

Before choosing a psychologist for a child, it is important to understand who the specialist you want to take the child to is and what they do. A psychologist is not a doctor, a teacher, a psychic, or a magician. Therefore, if you want your child to get better or get prescribed medication, then you need other specialists.

What does a child psychologist do? A child psychologist studies the inner world of a child. His task is to find an approach, understand the child, speak the same language with him, show the child what resources and opportunities are hidden in him, help him find and discover them. Better understand yourself, your desires, realize, express, live your emotions and feelings, learn to express them constructively.

 

The psychologist does not teach or instruct the child — there are enough teachers in life as it is. He is close to the child, becomes a witness to the study of their world.

 

The psychologist does not teach or instruct the child — there are enough teachers in life as it is. He is close to the child, becomes a witness to the study of their world.

A psychologist is referred to if the child has a difficulty that has no material and visible reasons. The reasons for his behavior, fears and anxieties are deeper-in his emotions, in his perception of the world.

 

Here are some sample requests that often come to a psychologist: difficulties in child-parent relations, problems with adapting to kindergarten or school, outbursts of aggression, fears, and self-doubt.

 

The psychologist does not make diagnoses for children, does not prescribe medications. There are psychiatrists and medical psychotherapists for this purpose. The psychologist does not have a magic pill and a magic wand that will instantly solve all problems. The psychologist works with what the child and his parents brought, helps to realize, accept, live, express, understand.

1 Work experience or the presence of a supervisor

One of the main criteria that people pay attention to when choosing any specialist is work experience. It is believed that the more time a specialist “cooks” in his business, the better quality services he provides. Work experience is also important for a psychologist.

The ability to communicate, find a common language with parents, pick up the “key” to the child is really developed and improved over the years. An experienced specialist has a large amount of information. They have experienced, worked, or succeeded in many different situations, so they are more likely to deal with your situation as well.

 

I don’t want to devalue young professionals. Psychologists with little experience work under the guidance and supervision of more experienced colleagues. Therefore, the quality of services with a competent, responsible approach from a young specialist will be no worse than that of an experienced one.

 

Psychologists with little experience work under the guidance and supervision of more experienced colleagues.

Young professionals have an advantage. Many people know the efforts and enthusiasm of young professionals who love their work. A burning look, love for your profession, your business, the desire to grow, improve — these are important conditions for high-quality work. Young professionals are usually not afraid to bring something new to their work. It is easier for them to look at each child with a “fresh” look. This is important because each situation, each child and their story is individual and requires an individual approach.

2 Age and gender of the specialist

A criterion whose importance is determined individually by each client.

 

What kind of psychologist should I choose for my child? There is an opinion that many older professionals are better able to establish contact with their parents, while young people identify with children and adolescents. However, it would be wrong to generalize.

 

Often the clients themselves give the psychologist certain functions. Some people think that their child needs an older and more experienced specialist, and it is easier for the parent to rely on him. Some people may trust a young specialist, but experience discomfort with an adult. Therefore, I recommend that you listen to your feelings here: which specialist will be more comfortable for you — with a young or older one?

 

I recommend that you listen to your feelings: which specialist will be more comfortable for you — with a young or older one?

This also includes the gender criterion. For some, it is important to work with a man, for others-with a woman. Choosing a child psychologist should depend on comfort, trust, and atmosphere-these are the main criteria that help you work successfully. In psychology, the result of 50% depends on the specialist, the remaining 50% is the motivation of the applicant, his desire to work. Therefore, in psychology, there is no way without trust, because trusting relationships create the ground for growing motivation, which means better work.

3 Education, working methods, membership in psychological associations

In this section, we will consider the basic requirements for a practicing child psychologist.

The first is a higher psychological education or a professional retraining diploma.

 

It is highly desirable that the specialist has additional training in a particular area of psychology. After receiving a diploma, the specialist chooses the direction and method that he will use in his work. As part of this method, additional training is also provided. There are various areas of psychology: art therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, gestalt therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy.

 

It is good if you learn more in advance about the direction and method in which the chosen specialist works.

 

You can’t call some method good and some bad. Each has its own characteristics, its own advantages. A lot depends on your request, your thinking, and what is closer to you. Some method may not work with your child, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. This means that you need to try something different, that it is not suitable for your child, although it may be perfect for another child.

 

It is good if the specialist regularly improves their skills, attends seminars and conferences. This increases the professional level of a specialist, develops his thinking, professional intuition, which is very important when working with the psyche.

 

It is important that the psychologist belongs to a professional community or association. They are the guarantor of confidentiality and ethics, and are responsible for the level of education of a specialist.

 

It is important that the psychologist belongs to a professional community or association. They are the guarantor of confidentiality and ethics, and are responsible for the level of education of a specialist.

A psychologist should have a supervisor and experience in personal psychotherapy.

 

At supervisors ‘ meetings, you can ask for help from a more experienced colleague. Often this is a certain, fixed specialist with the appropriate competence, with whom you can discuss difficult aspects of the work. This is the prevention of professional burnout and a guarantee of improving the quality of services provided. Naturally, confidentiality is guaranteed.

 

Personal psychotherapy is an important condition of work for a psychologist. This is the space where the psychologist can work out the difficult moments of his life story, work out his “sore spots”. After all, what kind of work will it be if, in response to the child’s aggression, the psychologist gets angry himself and starts shouting at him. Or listening to the story of a teenager about an unhappy love, will start to cry with him. When working with clients, it is very easy to get lost in your own memories, and the client’s feelings can also revive and evoke your own. All this reduces the efficiency of work to zero. In addition, through personal psychotherapy, the psychologist “tries on himself” the method by which he works with people. You can’t explain many things, you can’t learn them from books. They can only be understood, felt in personal experience.

4 Personal life of a specialist

Some people believe that if there are no children of their own, then the specialist will not be able to understand the child. But following that logic, we can say that an oncologist who has never had cancer will not be able to understand the patient, and a male gynecologist certainly does not understand anything in his business.

Personal life and profession are different areas. Usually, psychologists do not talk about their personal life, because the psychologist-client relationship is not friendly, and personal life does not affect the professional sphere or indirectly affects it. If difficulties in your personal life somehow affect your work, then this is a question for the personal therapy of a specialist.

 

Due to the openness of the specialist’s personal life, the client may have feelings that may interfere with the work. For example, a woman had an experience when a specialist did not help her solve a problem, and a conflict broke out between them. She knew that this psychologist had two children. Having found a new specialist and found out that he has several children, this woman may unconsciously perceive the new specialist as the previous one, treat him with distrust, aggression, as if the previous one was in his place. It is these feelings, and not the presence of two children with a specialist, that will interfere with the work.

5 Personality of the specialist

The psychologist works as a person. It is important to pay attention to this. Does the specialist inspire confidence and a desire to communicate? Whether it is comfortable in his presence. Pay attention to how the specialist communicates, how he addresses you, the child, and how you feel about it. Sometimes a specialist meets all the criteria, has a long experience, excellent education, but you are uncomfortable communicating with him, it is difficult to trust the innermost, in his presence you feel very anxious.

 

In this case, it is better to look for another specialist. It is better to start work with positive feelings, when there is trust in the psychologist. Yes,in the course of working with a child psychologist, a variety of feelings may come up, but it’s better to start with trust and comfort.

 

It’s like choosing a friend or partner, with someone you are comfortable, and with someone you are not very comfortable. Some specialist will suit you, but not the child. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t immediately find someone you’d like to confide in and feel comfortable with. It’s not always easy.

6 Your feelings as a parent from communicating with a psychologist

All previous criteria flow smoothly into this criterion. They are mostly recommendations, but if you feel that a certain criterion is important to you, try to take it into account. Since the main thing that we recommend paying attention to is a sense of trust and comfort.

In principle, all the criteria and requirements for psychologists are created in order to provide an atmosphere of trust, comfort, and quality of services provided. The choice of a psychologist is not accidental. We unconsciously read in the specialist what is important to us, what creates a sense of comfort.

 

We unconsciously read in the specialist what is important to us, what creates a sense of comfort.

The choice is complicated by the specifics of the profession. In addition to professional skills, the psychologist works with his personality, he uses his thinking, his worldview. We understand that it is different for everyone. Everyone has a different experience of trust. For some, it is easy to tell all the most valuable things to the first comer, and for others, it is difficult to trust close relatives. It will be much more difficult for the second person to find a suitable psychologist.

 

If a specialist’s education, experience, age, or marital status helps you trust them and trust your child, pay attention to them and take them into account when making your choice. Once again, 50% of the success of working with a psychologist depends on the motivation, mood of the parents, and the child himself. Therefore, consider everything that will help you feel more comfortable, relaxed, and relaxed with this specialist. Your readiness for work, and therefore its result, depends on it.

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