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Questions to Ask Mental Health Providers

Choosing the right mental health provider for your family can be scary. After all, you'll be trusting this person with the inner workings of your family - so how do you make sure that this person is right for you?

Our short video shares the top five questions families need to consider when shopping for a mental health provider. If you'd like more detailed questions, scroll down to see our full list.

Ready to interview providers face-to-face? Download our question sheet to help guide your interview.

Did You Know?

Connecting for Kids also offers a free How-To Guide to help you through the process of selecting a mental health provider. To download this guide, see our How-To Guide section.

Sample Questions

The following questions are examples of what you may want to consider asking when meeting with a mental health provider:

    What is your background/training?

    Mental health providers come from a number of different specialty areas. These include:

    • Behavior Intervention Specialist
    • Early Intervention Specialist
    • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT or LIMFT)
    • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC, LPCC, LPCC-S)
    • Licensed Social Worker (LSW or LISW)
    • Psychiatrist (including Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist)
    • Psychologist

    For detailed descriptions of these specialties, see our Mental Health Specialties Side-by-side Comparison.

    Do you have any specialty training or experience?

    • Have you worked with children who have challenges similar to my child's challenges?
    • What other specialty training or special interests do you have in my child's area of need?

    What is your treatment philosophy?

    Providers often employ a variety of treatment options when developing the best plan for their patients. These may include:

    • Behavioral Therapy
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS)
    • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
    • Group Therapy
    • Marital or Family Therapy
    • Play Therapy
    • Psychotherapy ("Talk Therapy")

    For detailed descriptions of these therapies, see our Treatment Options Side-by-side Comparison.

    How are the families who work with you typically involved in their child's treatment?

    • Should I expect to meet with you before you meet my child?
    • Do you ever meet with parents only?
    • Do you meet with my child one-on-one? If so, will I be allowed to know what happens during my child's session?
    • Do we ever meet as a whole family?

     How long does treatment typically last and when does it take place?

    • How often do you expect my child will need to meet with you? Weekly? Every other week? Monthly?
    • How long is a typical session?
    • How long does a typical treatment plan last? A couple of sessions? Several weeks? Several months?
    • When are appointments typically scheduled? After school hours? During school? Are evenings and weekends available?

    How do you coordinate with other providers?

    • Can you provide a diagnosis report?
    • Are you able to coordinate with my child's pediatrician or other specialists?
    • Do you prescribe medication? If not, can you refer me to someone who can?
    • Are there other specialists in your office that can also help with my child's treatment?

    What types of payment do you accept?

    • Do you accept my health insurance?
    • Can you help me submit paperwork for my healthcare reimbursement account (HCRA)?
    • Are there other funding sources I can access to help cover the cost of treatment?

    Call, text or email:

    Phone: 1-440-570-5908
    EspaƱol: 1-440-907-9130
    Email: info@connectingforkids.org


    P.O. Box 45372
    Westlake, Ohio 44145

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