Health

Consulting a family therapist

Do you feel like you are stuck in an endless spiral of sadness and anger? Your child is cracking and your family is going down? Some situations require professional help.

The question keeps coming back to you and you even discussed this with your spouse. Should we seek professional help to solve this problem that our family is facing? Yet, it seems as if you can’t make the move and wonder if it is truly necessary to consult.

We asked two psychologists to give us advice and explain the process and usefulness of family therapy. 

When should we consult?

Because it is usually harder to make this decision when the children are concerned than when it is a couple’s issue, Stephanie Léonard tells us the signs that should convince parents to consult when their child seems unhappy or preoccupied. 

When you notice significant changes in their behavior, for example, if they no longer want to play with their friends, if they often complain of stomach pain, if they do not want to go to school anymore, if they have difficulty falling asleep at night”.

Elements to keep an eye out for in your child's behavior

  • General behavior is not the same.
  • Social life changed drastically.
  • Eating habits change (less appetite)
  • Sleep is disrupted.
  • Refusal to do what they used to do for no apparent reason (school, extracurricular activities, hobbies, etc.)
  • Seems angrier, withdrawn, irritable.
  • It seems more difficult to manage small sources of stress.

Obviously, it is better to discuss with your child first when these changes occur and Dr. Leonard strongly suggests validating the information with the teacher or daycare worker because they spend a lot of time with your child and can give you another perspective in the situation.

How to find a psychologist?

You came to the conclusion that your personal resources are not sufficient? The best way to find a good psychologist is to consult l’Ordre des psychologues du Québec, via its website or by phone. This way, you will be sure to contact an accredited professional and the reference system elaborated by the order will help you find the appropriate specialist based on certain criteria such as the location, therapeutic approach (psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral) and specialization (eating disorders, anxiety, grief, depression, etc.)

Families who do not have sufficient financial resources to consult a private therapist can contact CLSC, clinics, and hospitals in their area.

“We can also get counseling at much lower costs with university students, for example. They are always supervised by professional psychologists and rates are almost two times lower”, says Dr. Léonard.

How much does it cost?

The hourly rate of psychologists is between $85 and $125 and a session lasts between one hour and one hour and a half. Some insurance plans cover some or all of these costs. It is worthwhile to ask about your coverage.

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