What Parents Should Know: Working with Your Mental Health Provider

Reviewed Jun 30, 2017

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Summary

How to gauge the treatment experience:

  • Does the mental health provider genuinely care?
  • Do I feel at ease when raising any issues with her?

You may remember taking your child to the doctor for an ear infection. The care was fairly simple. After the doctor examined your child, he prescribed a medicine. He told you to bring the child back for a follow-up in two weeks. If the medicine was given properly, the ear infection cleared up. For mental health problems, the care is not as clear-cut as it is for medical problems. This is because the causes of mental illness are not as clear-cut.

In fact, mental illness may be caused by several factors. These factors could be acting together to cause the disorder. For example, depression may be caused by physical problems, family problems, or problems with adjusting to a new school. Or, it may be caused by several of these factors coming together at the same time.

Communication is key

That is why it is important to be patient. You should work with your mental health provider. Sometimes it may take weeks or even months before you see any changes. Medicine that is used to treat mental illnesses take time to work. Therapy where a person talks about their problems also takes time. It is also important for you to be open and honest about what you think is best for your child. While the mental health provider has special training, you know what’s best for your child. If a certain medicine or other care is not working, speak up. Let the mental health professional know.

Evaluate the experience

Once your child is in therapy, you should evaluate the experience. Not every therapist works well with all families. It is important to have a good match with your therapist so you should gauge your treatment experience by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does the mental health provider genuinely care about my family and me?
  • Is he on time for appointments?
  • Does she focus on my child’s problems? Or, does she spend time talking about her own feelings and problems?
  • Do I feel at ease when raising any issues with her?
  • Is he available when my family is in a crisis?
  • Am I using the mental health provider in the right way? Am I getting the most out of therapy?
  • If I don’t agree with the mental health provider does she listen to me? Do I feel good about these talks?
  • Is he helping me to solve problems for myself? Is he helping my family to grow and change at a pace that is comfortable?

If you answered more "no’s" than "yes’s" it may be time for you to find another therapist.

The best treatment experience will happen when everyone works together. This includes the family, the child, and the provider. If you feel like the therapist is not paying attention to your needs or your opinions, find another one. It may take one or two tries before you find a good match.

By Haline Grublak, CPHQ
Reviewed by Philip Merideth, MD, Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

Summary

How to gauge the treatment experience:

  • Does the mental health provider genuinely care?
  • Do I feel at ease when raising any issues with her?

You may remember taking your child to the doctor for an ear infection. The care was fairly simple. After the doctor examined your child, he prescribed a medicine. He told you to bring the child back for a follow-up in two weeks. If the medicine was given properly, the ear infection cleared up. For mental health problems, the care is not as clear-cut as it is for medical problems. This is because the causes of mental illness are not as clear-cut.

In fact, mental illness may be caused by several factors. These factors could be acting together to cause the disorder. For example, depression may be caused by physical problems, family problems, or problems with adjusting to a new school. Or, it may be caused by several of these factors coming together at the same time.

Communication is key

That is why it is important to be patient. You should work with your mental health provider. Sometimes it may take weeks or even months before you see any changes. Medicine that is used to treat mental illnesses take time to work. Therapy where a person talks about their problems also takes time. It is also important for you to be open and honest about what you think is best for your child. While the mental health provider has special training, you know what’s best for your child. If a certain medicine or other care is not working, speak up. Let the mental health professional know.

Evaluate the experience

Once your child is in therapy, you should evaluate the experience. Not every therapist works well with all families. It is important to have a good match with your therapist so you should gauge your treatment experience by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does the mental health provider genuinely care about my family and me?
  • Is he on time for appointments?
  • Does she focus on my child’s problems? Or, does she spend time talking about her own feelings and problems?
  • Do I feel at ease when raising any issues with her?
  • Is he available when my family is in a crisis?
  • Am I using the mental health provider in the right way? Am I getting the most out of therapy?
  • If I don’t agree with the mental health provider does she listen to me? Do I feel good about these talks?
  • Is he helping me to solve problems for myself? Is he helping my family to grow and change at a pace that is comfortable?

If you answered more "no’s" than "yes’s" it may be time for you to find another therapist.

The best treatment experience will happen when everyone works together. This includes the family, the child, and the provider. If you feel like the therapist is not paying attention to your needs or your opinions, find another one. It may take one or two tries before you find a good match.

By Haline Grublak, CPHQ
Reviewed by Philip Merideth, MD, Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

Summary

How to gauge the treatment experience:

  • Does the mental health provider genuinely care?
  • Do I feel at ease when raising any issues with her?

You may remember taking your child to the doctor for an ear infection. The care was fairly simple. After the doctor examined your child, he prescribed a medicine. He told you to bring the child back for a follow-up in two weeks. If the medicine was given properly, the ear infection cleared up. For mental health problems, the care is not as clear-cut as it is for medical problems. This is because the causes of mental illness are not as clear-cut.

In fact, mental illness may be caused by several factors. These factors could be acting together to cause the disorder. For example, depression may be caused by physical problems, family problems, or problems with adjusting to a new school. Or, it may be caused by several of these factors coming together at the same time.

Communication is key

That is why it is important to be patient. You should work with your mental health provider. Sometimes it may take weeks or even months before you see any changes. Medicine that is used to treat mental illnesses take time to work. Therapy where a person talks about their problems also takes time. It is also important for you to be open and honest about what you think is best for your child. While the mental health provider has special training, you know what’s best for your child. If a certain medicine or other care is not working, speak up. Let the mental health professional know.

Evaluate the experience

Once your child is in therapy, you should evaluate the experience. Not every therapist works well with all families. It is important to have a good match with your therapist so you should gauge your treatment experience by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does the mental health provider genuinely care about my family and me?
  • Is he on time for appointments?
  • Does she focus on my child’s problems? Or, does she spend time talking about her own feelings and problems?
  • Do I feel at ease when raising any issues with her?
  • Is he available when my family is in a crisis?
  • Am I using the mental health provider in the right way? Am I getting the most out of therapy?
  • If I don’t agree with the mental health provider does she listen to me? Do I feel good about these talks?
  • Is he helping me to solve problems for myself? Is he helping my family to grow and change at a pace that is comfortable?

If you answered more "no’s" than "yes’s" it may be time for you to find another therapist.

The best treatment experience will happen when everyone works together. This includes the family, the child, and the provider. If you feel like the therapist is not paying attention to your needs or your opinions, find another one. It may take one or two tries before you find a good match.

By Haline Grublak, CPHQ
Reviewed by Philip Merideth, MD, Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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