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Many parents don't know where to start looking when counseling or therapy is recommended for their child.

I always recommend that parents start by contacting their insurance provider, since many have managed care plans or a "preferred provider" list. Many companies also have an Employee Assistance Program for employees or family members, which generally offers short term counseling at no cost to the employee.
 
Counseling is expensive but should be covered in all or in part by insurance. If you have an HMO or a "preferred provider" list, you can ask me, your pediatrician, or another trusted professional to review the list and make suggestions regarding professionals they know. Your pediatrician, myself or school counselors can also make suggestions if you have a Traditional Plan, where you can see the practitioner of your choice.

Child Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD) who specialize in medications for mental health issues (depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, mood disorders). They will generally provide brief counseling, but not ongoing therapy. Psychologists (Ph.D or Psy.D) may work with children and/or families to provide ongoing therapy, as will Licensed Social Workers (LCSW/LSW), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC/LAC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) or Licensed Addiction Counselors (LCADC). Many professionals have particular areas of expertise; many are very competent with a variety of childhood issues.

We live in an area (between Morristown, Summit, and Somerville) where there are many mental health providers for children. You should try to talk to a few before you decide who "sounds best" and seems to understand your situation and your child's needs.

The process is well worth it and a good practitioner is worth his/her weight in gold. Emotional pain is real and can cripple a child's development. Working with a counselor may stretch your time, your budget, and your own growth as a parent and a person, but your child is your best investment!