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When to get outside help

How to look for professional help or counseling for your child

You have the very important job of making sure your child gets the best medical care for his physical injuries. You are also the best person to monitor how your child is coping, and when some extra help, such as trauma counseling, might be needed. In the first few days after an injury, many kids (and parents) feel a little upset, jumpy or worried, and can use a little extra support from family and friends.

How to look for professional help or counseling for your child

There are very good and helpful treatments for children who continue to have traumatic stress symptoms.

child benefits from counseling for traumatic stress disorder PHOTO

If you are wondering how to find a child therapist, a good place to start is to talk with your child's doctor or a counselor at your child's school. They can help you figure out the best way of helping your child and your family, and may be able to suggest a counselor or therapist experienced in helping children with traumatic stress.

When looking for a counselor or therapist to help your child with traumatic stress symptoms, it's a good idea to ask questions such as: Do you have experience working with children after trauma? What is your approach to working with this type of problem? What is your success rate? How do you work with parents?

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has useful tips and information on how to find a mental health professional to help your child and family after trauma.

The following national organizations in the US provide links to help consumers find mental health professionals:

American Psychological Association - Psychologist Locator

National Association of Social Workers - Find a Licensed Social Worker

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists - Psychiatrist Finder

Anxiety Disorders Association of America - Find a Therapist

Sidran Institute Help Desk - Locate Trauma Resources