Finding the Right Off-Campus Mental Health Professional
If you agree it makes sense for your child to see someone off-campus, spend time talking with the mental health professional on the phone: ask about their approach to working with patients, their philosophy, whether or not they have a specialty or concentration (some psychologists specialize in family counseling, or child counseling, while others specialize in substance abuse or coping with the loss of a loved one). Does the therapist have experience helping people with similar problems to your child’s? If your child feels comfortable talking to the counselor or doctor, the next step is for your child to make an appointment.
Before your child’s visit, be sure to find out what your insurance policy covers and doesn’t cover, as well as all applicable fees, limits of sessions, and in-network versus out-of-network provider policies.
Looking for mental health services in your area? Click here to use SAMHSA’s Mental Health Resource Locator.
During the visit, the counselor or the doctor will want to get to know your child and the reason for the appointment. The counselor will likely ask your child about their problems as well as questions about their life and relationships. This information helps the professional assess a patient’s situation and develop a plan for addressing the problems.
If your child does not feel comfortable with the professional after the first, or even several visits, they should be encouraged to express those feelings at their next meeting. Therapy is a collaborative process, so finding the right match is critical. Don’t be afraid to help your child contact another counselor. Feeling comfortable with the professional your child chooses is very important to the success of their treatment.
- College & Stress
- Connecting Your Child with Mental Health Resources on Campus
- Contact Information Every Parent Should Know
- Finding the Right Off-Campus Mental Health Professional
- Four Things Every Parent Must Know About Emotional Health
- If Your Child is Worried About a Friend
- Managing Stress
- Stress Check - Signs of a Problem
- What to Do When Your Student is Struggling