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Encourage mental health in children with a psychological evaluation

Getting a psychological evaluation for your child can be a great first step in providing your child with a strong support system for their overall mental health. Often your child can be resistant to going to therapy or seeing a psychologist, however, if you approach your child about it honestly and choose a doctor that is a right fit for your child they understand the benefit of getting help.


Do find the right fit

Do not be afraid to shop around for a provider that you and your child feel comfortable with. There is no sense in working with a doctor that you don’t feel comfortable divulging personal information or one that your child feels they cannot talk to on a personal level.

Do be upfront from the start

Being as open and honest as possible with the provider who is conducting the psychological evaluation allows him/her to better understand the presenting concerns. The goal is to support your child in every way possible, not to pass judgment.

Do communicate with teachers, daycares, and other sources

Obtaining feedback from teachers regarding a child’s behavior, academic strengths and weakness’ will provide valuable insight to aid in an effective psychological evaluation. Speaking with these professionals who work with your child on a daily basis will also foster a good relationship with your child by being actively involved in their life.

Do find a credible practice to work with and ask questions

Do your research and ask around until you find a practice that meets your needs. Research practices online and see what other people have said about them. Talk to people in your community for references to doctors that have helped them. And also call the practice or set up an appointment with them to ask them questions in person to ensure they are a good fit for you and your child.

Do be proactive

Bring any and all medical records to your psychological evaluation, as well as any other additional paperwork that might give the provider greater insight into the presenting concerns.


Do not trick your child into a psychological evaluation

Bringing your child to a psychological evaluation under false pretenses is a sure fire way to create a sense of mistrust before the appointment even begins. Instead of telling a child “we are going for ice cream,” be honest with them and explain the upcoming appointment in a way that makes the child feel safe.

Do not be afraid to ask questions

Psychological evaluations offer a chance to gather a great deal of information in a short amount of time. Although the provider will most likely have many questions for you as the parents, do not be afraid to bring up any questions or concerns that you may have.

Do not avoid getting your child help out of shame

Many parents find it difficult to begin the process of getting a psychological evaluation for their child. They are often afraid that their child will be labeled or treated differently if diagnosed with a mental illness.

Do not be afraid to interview the practice or doctor

Before you commit to an appointment call the office with a list of questions. Ask all the questions that will help you to understand if the practice or doctor is a right fit.

Do not expect a psychological evaluation to be a quick fix

During an initial psychological evaluation most providers are looking to gather a detailed history of your child, address the presenting concerns, and make referrals if necessary.

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Doing what you can as a parent to ensure your child’s mental health is essential in helping them develop into a well-rounded adult. Heed this advice to help you understand and choose a doctor to undergo a psychological evaluation for your child.

More expert advice about Children's Health

Photo Credits: Kids portrait summer trees siblings teens tweens brother sisters by Flickr: Carissa Rogers; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Amanda SheldonProfessional Counselor

I view each therapeutic relationship as an opportunity to walk alongside my clients on their journey towards achieving their therapeutic goals in a safe and supportive environment. Amanda holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psych...

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