What Does a Child Psychologist Do?

What Does a Child Psychologist Do?


A child psychologist is a mental health practitioner who teaches kids and teenagers how to deal with mental health problems and life's challenges through psychological exams and various forms of therapy. They can aid in the treatment of illnesses related to the mind, heart, society, and behavior.

An infant, toddler, child, or adolescent's mental, emotional, social, and behavioral health can be evaluated and treated by a child psychologist due to their professional training and clinical skills.

Child psychologists are well-versed in the fundamental psychological requirements of kids and teens as well as how their social, familial, and other environments influence their:

  • Emotional and social adjustment.
  • Morphological procedures.
  • Behavior modification.

Expert knowledge of the mental and behavioral issues that affect children is another specialty of child psychologists.

When working with kids and teenagers, child psychologists employ a variety of techniques and abilities, such as:

  • Testing and assessment to evaluate psychological, intellectual, cognitive, and behavioral disorders.
  • Using therapies like behavior control and talk therapy (psychotherapy).
  • Creating programs for prevention, such as those against teen pregnancy, addiction, and bullying.
  • Obtaining advice from other specialists and medical personnel who treat children.

Children with medical issues frequently receive thorough care from child psychologists. Children who struggle with sleep, or chronic pain, or those managing a chronic illness, for instance, may benefit from their assistance.

Due to differences in age, cognitive ability, and maturity, children's emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders are frequently treated differently from those that affect adults. Due to this, child psychologists can employ a variety of therapy strategies depending on your child's age and particular circumstances. Child psychologists may only work with you (or guardians) depending on your child's age and needs in order to assist with parenting techniques or the best way to handle your child's behavior

These therapies include:

  • Art therapy.
  • Behavioral therapy.
  • Child-centered play therapy.
  • Child-parent relationship therapy.
  • Child anger management therapy.
  • Child trauma therapy.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).
  • Emotionally focused therapy.
  • Group or family therapy.
  • Music therapy.
  • Occupational therapy.
  • Parent-child interaction therapy.

A master's degree in a discipline associated with mental health, such as psychology, counseling psychology, or marriage and family therapy, is required of a child therapist. A child therapist is qualified to assess the emotional and behavioral well-being of kids and apply therapeutic strategies like talk therapy. The method utilized by therapists is typically more problem-solving oriented.

A child psychologist holds a doctorate (Ph.D.) and frequently has considerable training in clinical psychology or psychological research. To help with the diagnosis of mental health and learning challenges, such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and learning disabilities, child psychologists can do several tests that therapists cannot.

While there are many aspects of child therapists' and child psychologists' work that overlap, there are some key distinctions between what each can do for you and your child.

Your child can benefit from therapy by learning how to deal with challenging situations, develop coping mechanisms to deal with strong emotions, and improve family relationships.

A therapist may not be the ideal choice if you need a diagnosis for an IEP (individualized education plan) or other school adjustments, even though they can assist in treating your child's emotional or mental health problems. Schools frequently favor having you consult a psychologist for this.

You should consider taking your child to a therapist if:

  • They require emotional assistance and a confidant with whom to discuss their feelings.
  • They are coping with significant life changes, despair, anxiety, or anger.
  • You need assistance in figuring out how to get along with your child more effectively and modify challenging behavior.
  • You don't need assistance with medicine or more complicated mental health issues; you just want your child to see someone on a regular basis.

When you need more information regarding the cause of your kid's troubles or if your child has an IEP, a child psychologist can do several tests that therapists are unable to.

Visiting a psychologist with your kid is something you should think about if:

  • You suspect your child may suffer from a condition like ADHD, a learning disability, or an autism spectrum disorder that interferes with their ability to learn or interact with others.
  • Help managing emotional or behavioral issues is required for your child.
  • You want your child's diagnosis to be more thorough.
  • Finding out what adjustments you can make at home and what adjustments the school can do to better support your child is one of your therapy goals.

Child psychologists and therapists are unable to write prescriptions for drugs. A child psychiatrist, a medical professional who specializes in the field of psychiatry, may be needed if your child needs medication to treat a more severe mental health condition.

Therapy is a priceless tool that offers a secure environment for both adults and children to discuss and deal with the difficulties life throws at us, whether they are temporary circumstances or mental health disorders.

Nobody knows your child as you do. Your child may benefit from seeing a child psychologist if you believe they are having difficulties in school, relationships, managing emotions, behavior, and/or learning.

You can evaluate if and when your child would benefit from seeing a child psychologist by keeping an eye out for the following broad circumstances and behaviors:

  • A significant change or stressful circumstance is affecting your children, such as bullying, a medical condition, a divorce, or a move to a new city or school.
  • The behavioral, emotional, and/or mental issues your child is having seem to be becoming worse over time rather than better.
  • Traumatic events like a death, an accident, or abuse have affected your child or your family.
  • Your youngster has undergone significant behavioral or personality changes.
  • It's difficult for your child to make and keep friends.
  • Your child's behavior at school is problematic or their grades are declining.

If you want to ensure that your child's development encompassing, physical, social, emotional, and psychological development is in the right direction seek consultation with the best psychologists who will help you understand the emotional needs of the child, enable you to understand your needs and limitations better, and holistic development. You can also meet in the clinic with the best clinical psychologists & parenting coaches at Psychowellness Center, a multi-location clinic at Janakpuri, Dwarka, VasantVihar, Gurgaon, NOIDA, Faridabad, and Delhi NCR.

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Contributed by:- Dr (Prof) R K Suri Clinical Psychologist & Ms. Aditi Bhardwaj