How to Find a Therapist
Whether an adult or child needs therapy, finding the right therapist takes research, patience, and intuition.
Baker says patients don't always like his suggestions -- yet he
knows from intuition and experience that its good advice.
Example: Your husband uses profanity constantly when talking to
you; you want him to quit. Baker suggests that you mirror your husband's
behavior -- you use profanity the next time he does -- a technique he knows
will work. "People are always resistant to that, they don't want to 'sink
that low,' but then they're amazed at how well it works," Baker says.
"It's not that you should take up bad habits, but that he stop
"It's tough finding a good child psychotherapist," says
Weiss. "Not many people have much experience working with adolescents. You
can end up with a therapist trained to work with adults, but they work with
adolescents because they have an adolescent or because they like working with
A pediatrician can often make a referral, he tells WebMD.
"I warn people about school counselors making referrals; they are
overwhelmed and busy, don't follow up to see if good work is
Also, check with other parents. "I recommend that parents
identify two or three therapists that they find acceptable, then let your kid
pick from among them. That's so they have a voice in this," Weiss
Eugenio Rothe, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of
Miami and director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic at Jackson
Memorial Hospital, offered his insights.
Pediatricians and professional counselors should not be
treating a child for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), he tells
WebMD. "More than 75% of children with ADHD are treated by a pediatrician
or primary care doctor. But studies show that 40% to 60% of those children have
another psychiatric diagnosis. How can a pediatrician [or counselor] diagnose
"Professional honesty is very important -- referring
patients to other professionals when you're not trained to handle the
problem," says Rothe. "Many psychologists feel very threatened by
psychiatrists, that they will lose the patient if they make a referral. But
they're doing a disservice by not getting patients get the help they