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From Cary and Woodstock, IL: How to Get the Perfect Counselor for your Teenager

Feb 25, 2008
Different types of adolescent counselors are not equal. Only if you have the right knowledge about teenage counseling are likely to succeed in getting the best results for their adolescent.

Even though it may be difficult to find the right counselor, I am sure you want to know the best ways to find which type of counselor is likely to put your child back on track.

The initial pool of skilled counselors comes from local professionals like social workers, psychologists and mental health counselors who are licensed to practice independently.

Remember, the right child and adolescent counseling professionals are not just helpful; they're crucial to your teenagers long-term success.

Many counselors or therapists can be successful with your kid for a short time. Given enough personality and a few good jokes, most therapists can create some instances of success in the short term. But it is crucial that it not stop there.

Jokes and kindly lecturing only work for so long. You want your teens therapist to lay the proper foundation for your kids future stability in the years to come.

Remember, you are not just looking to solve your kids behavior problem for a few days; you are looking to create long term stability in his/her personal relationships, academic success and his future family and vocational life.

In order to eliminate your adolescents anxiety, aggression, or other behavior problems, counselors look at what the causes of the specific problems may be and then deftly apply their expertise, experience and credentials in solving them-over the long term.

Important Questions:
Does your teenagers counselor help by being available after school or weekends or do you have to struggle to get an appointment whenever he or she can squeeze you in? Is s/he part of your insurance plan? Does he have over 10 years of experience in treating teenagers? Will he or she be able to build a solid rapport with your kid or will the kid just come out rolling his eyes?

At an initial consultation, an expert child and adolescent therapist should consult with you to assess what the goals for your child should be, what feelings and behaviors need to be reduced and which ones need reinforcing. With your feedback, he or she will set-up a clear treatment plan- one that you can understand.
He will return your phone calls promptly and even communicate with your kids teachers, if necessary.

Psychiatrists have a degree in medicine and get very little training in child counseling. They are mainly used to prescribe psychoactive medications.

Psychologists, on the other hand, have a doctoral degree in counseling or psychology and are mainly trained in providing therapy, counseling and research and assessment services. Social workers have a masters degree and are usually trained in community casework and counseling; mental health counselors have the masters degree with most of their training in counseling.

The best therapists maintain on-going communication with you and will encourage you to do the same. They will orient you and the teachers on ways to manage your kids behavior that will have the highest probability of success.

More than likely, the treatment plan will encourage you to change how you are saying what you are saying to your kid. The treatment plan will be designed to work with your kids most powerful motivators, so it will encourage cooperation, not resistance. By utilizing effective communication skills, consequence programming and strength-targeting an expert counselor can help you transform your teenager from being self-defeating to self-actualizing.

What's the easiest way to find the right child psychologist or counselor? Just conduct an internet search with some or all of these keywords: child, adolescent, counselor, teenager, psychologist (and your location) e.g. Woodstock or Cary, Illinois.

Remember: Check years of experience, percentage of practice devoted to teens (should be at least 25%), licensure by the state and acceptance of your insurance plan.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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