It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Part 2 of 2: Finding a Counselor or Therapist for Your Child

Part 2 of 2: Finding a Counselor or Therapist for Your Child

by James Sutton, Educator and Psychologist

The following two-part article is excerpted from “What Parernts Need to Know About ODD,” an e-book that can be downloaded from the homepage,


If you can’t line up a good referral, don’t necessarily go straight to the Yellow Pages. Oppositional and defiant youngsters can be either incredibly tough on counselors and therapists, or their behavior is so good in the professional’s office that they don’t see the problem (and want to release your kid after the second visit).

Counties with large populations often have a county psychological association (and probably similar associations for counselors, social workers and therapists). They generally operate a referral line. The folks handling the phones or returning the calls can save you a ton of time and frustration by matching a few professionals to your specific needs. It’s nice to have a choice because factors like location and office hours can make a difference.

If you live fairly close to a major university, you might do well to contact the departments of psychology, counseling, social work or special education (or all of them). Not only can these folks often help you find a competent professional pretty quickly, these departments often operate counseling or therapy labs to train students. They’re actually looking for kids, and the cost is nominal or free. University students are supervised and highly motivated to do well; they regularly staff their lab cases with their supervising professors. And students working on their master’s or doctoral degrees are likely to have substantial experience anyway.


July 18, 2006 - Posted by | Difficult Child, Parents

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