Some advice for parents? Or maybe support for a child starting kindergarten? What does a child psychologist actually do? Where to find one? How to prepare for the first visit?
Here are some answers to the most common questions from parents:
A child psychologist, as the name suggests, works with children and their families. You can expect them to have extensive knowledge and skills in working with children. This specialist primarily has an education that gives them the right to practice this profession. Since you want the best for your child and there are many scammers in the market, it’s worth checking who you are going to.
Where to find a child psychologist?
The easiest way to find a psychologist for a child is to look for a Psychologist-Pedagogical Clinic in your city or nearby, which is usually associated with your child’s kindergarten or school. You can find information about this in the respective institution, for example, from the school counselor. The assistance provided by state clinics is free of charge. In public psychological and pedagogical counseling centers, you can take advantage of diagnostic services and also receive counseling, for example, in the field of education. Speech therapists and educators also provide consultations there.
What kind of problems can you turn to a child psychologist for?
In theory, anything related to children – from developmental issues to educational, family, and school problems. However, it is important to note that the more complex the problem is, the more specialized qualifications and skills the psychologist will need. Not every problem requires a visit to a specialist, but if parents are concerned about any unusual behavior in their child, it is worth seeking advice from professionals.
How to prepare for the first meeting?
When making an appointment for your child, it is worth asking whether you should attend the meeting alone or with the child. It often happens that during the first meeting, the psychologist will only talk with the parents, set goals, and work methods with them, and only start working directly with the child during subsequent meetings.
Ideally, both parents should be present at the meeting so that they can complement each other during the conversation.
Prepare well for this visit. The psychologist will certainly ask you about issues related to the development of the child – from conception to the present day, it is worth remembering when the child took the first steps and when it started talking. Other questions will relate to health – has the child been injured? Does it have allergies? If so, what medications does it take? It is good to write down such important information.
What can you expect from a visit to a child psychologist?
The psychologist will ask you about what brings you to see them and will inquire about the current development and functioning of your child, as well as their relationships with peers and family. If your child is present at the meeting, the psychologist will likely take them into their office to establish a rapport, possibly through play. The psychologist may also recommend therapeutic courses such as speech therapy or group courses for shy children, and give you tips on how to work with your child at home.
It’s important to keep in mind that a child psychologist is not a fairy who will provide you with a golden solution or a magic spell. Don’t expect ready-made solutions or change to happen without your cooperation. However, the most important thing is that you are willing to do something about the issue, that you are seeking solutions that will be helpful for your child and the entire family.