Do I Need Counseling? Does My Child or Teen Need Counseling? 6 Questions To Ask

Life is always throwing challenges at us. Some things we handle pretty well, and other things are more difficult to overcome. One question many people have is “When is it time to see a therapist about these issues?” I have come up with a list of questions to ask yourself to help determine whether you or your child will benefit from therapy.

If you answer “YES” to any of the questions below, I suggest you consider seeking counseling from a professional. There are many types of mental health professionals out there, so for help on finding the right therapist, read Finding the Right Type of Mental Health Professional.

Do I need to seek counseling?

  1. Am I having feelings, or behaving in a way, that is negatively interfering in my life?
  2. Have I tried to “fix” my problems on my own and cannot seem to make any significant changes?
  3. Have my symptoms or problems been ongoing for at least 3 months, or “too long?”
  4. Do I have trouble developing or maintaining successful relationships, including romantic relationships, family relationships, professional relationships, and friendships?
  5. Have my friends, family, or doctor suggested I seek help for my issues?
  6. Do I feel or think I need to seek help before things get worse?

Does my child or teen need counseling?

  1. Has our family recently experienced a significant change or transition in our life, such as divorce, remarriage, job loss, and a new baby?
  2. Have I noticed my child or teen is behaving unusual in any way?
  3. Has my child or teen mentioned they are unhappy, anxious, or angry and cannot seem to overcome these feelings?
  4. Have teachers, friends, or community members mentioned they are concerned about my child for any reason?
  5. Have the symptoms or behaviors become worse or remained the same for at least 3 months, or longer than I am comfortable with?
  6. Have I tried to help my child or teen and it didn’t work, or do I feel I don’t know how to help?

How To Find a Therapist:

Ask Your Doctor

Talk to your family doctor, OBGyn, or pediatrician if you feel you need to seek counseling or are unsure. Doctor’s have referrals for therapists in your area to cover a wide range of issues.

PsychologyToday.com Therapy Directory is probably the best resource for finding a therapist in your area. You can read the profiles, which includes contact information, payment options, and backgrounds for the therapists. The professionals have also been verified by PsychologyToday.com as a licensed professional in their state. For an example, you can view my profile.

Check for therapists in network with your insurance company. You can either call the customer service number, or you can look online for this information.

Talk to friends or family for referrals. If you are comfortable with asking, getting a referral from someone you trust is one of the best ways to find a good therapist.

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Published by

Kim Peterson, MA, LPC-S, RPT

Kim is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Registered Play Therapist in Dallas, Texas.

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