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What kind of family therapist/counselor do you use?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Im looking for a family therapist for us and our DS who has Aspergers, but there are so many different types out there. It's overwhelming! Psychiatrist, psychologists, social workers, counselors, applied behavior and some others that I've seen are covered by our insurance.

 

Is there a specific type that can help with family issues related to the Special Needs child? I'm looking for someone that can help us with parenting techniques and keeping our family strong, but can also help DS individually.

 

Wondering what type of therapist other parents of SN children use? And what that therapist does with you/your child. 

post #2 of 7

This is really a tough question, because the particular person is more important that the exact label.

 

In general, however, you aren't looking for a Psychiatrist. This in an MD with special training in mental illness that can be treated with medication. Some psychiatrist do talk therapy, some don't.  Some have long waits, and most don't except new patients who just need to talk.

 

Psychologist and social workers have graduate degrees, but not medical degrees. They can't prescribe meds. We've used both. One of my favorite counselors I've worked with was a social worker, and she recommended another counselor with a MA in psychology for my DD. It was the specific degree, but rather that the counselor did a great deal of work with adolescents.

post #3 of 7

We use a therapist who specializes in special needs children, parenting issues and behavioral issues.  He was recommended to us by our developmental pediatrician at the time (the only good thing she ever did!).

 

Psychology Today's website has a "find a therapist" tool.   Not all therapists are listed as it is a fee based service but I like that you can put in what type of therapy you are looking for, whether it's adult or pediatric, the type of therapy used (CBT, EMDR, etc.) and also what insurance, if any, they take and whether they work on a sliding scale.  http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/?utm_source=www&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=topnav_find_therapist

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thing1Thing2 View Post

Im looking for a family therapist for us and our DS who has Aspergers, but there are so many different types out there. It's overwhelming! Psychiatrist, psychologists, social workers, counselors, applied behavior and some others that I've seen are covered by our insurance.

 

Is there a specific type that can help with family issues related to the Special Needs child? I'm looking for someone that can help us with parenting techniques and keeping our family strong, but can also help DS individually.

 

Wondering what type of therapist other parents of SN children use? And what that therapist does with you/your child. 

 

I'd start by asking the diagnosing doctor for recommendations, and any related people like OTs and STs you work with who may know someone. Working off your insurance list may not work because of things like 1) a provider may have one of their offices outside your search radius, as happened with ds' first psychiatrist; 2) a provider may be in the process of getting on your plan and isn't listed yet, as with ds' developmental ped when she went into private practice; 3) a provider may cost the same for you as private pay as with your deductible as with my ds' social skills group ST.

 

We're essentially looking for the same thing you are; ds' dev.ped. and psychiatrist recommended a therapist that used play based therapy, and as parents we could use some help. Ds' last therapist was more for him and we did separate parent sessions on occasion without ds, but I'm looking for a therapist that can help us as a family, and is experienced helping ADHD/ASD children/families in particular.

 

As pp said, a psychiatrist probably isn't it, though if you are working with one they may have a recommendation for you. Ds' first psychiatrist recommended a counselor who worked in her building and we stayed with her for a year until ds didn't need to be seen as much and our schedules couldn't connect for a standing appointment. I asked ds' dev. ped. for help locating a therapist and his psychiatrist; his psychiatrist has someone that just moved into his suite so we're going to try him first; due to city traffic I have a corridor I need providers we see frequently to be in.

post #5 of 7

You may have a local organization that could help. Do you have an Autism Society, or mental health support group around? They may be able to give you a list of practitioners experienced with issues similar to your family's. www.nami.org (National Alliance for Mental Health, I think) is national, but has branches in many cities. I agree that finding a provider you child connects with is more important than the title.
 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you all. You've given me some good ideas on where to start. I'll let you know how it goes!

post #7 of 7

You may encounter long waits with some of the psychiatrists and psychologists, and it might help to set up appointments with more than one to find one you can and want to work with.  Here, psychiatrists often have therapists working for them and most of appointments are with the therapist, but they are overseen by psychiatrist. I agree about asking for recommendations from other physicians because you want them to work together and communicate when necessary.  Although our psychologist was not able to prescribe meds, she was able to make recommendations to the neurologist, who could prescribe as long as there were no conflicts between meds.  

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