Of course it depends on your child's issues, but for us, we loved our attachment therapist (who also did somatic therapy) and for trauma EMDR. Finding an Attachment Therapist - http://marythemom-mayhem.blogspot.com/2012/08/books-and-methods-review-methods.html
- Is it OK for me to be in the room during therapy? You should be in the room the whole time (prevents triangulation, false allegations, and for attachment therapy you want the child bonding with YOU not the therapist). At the very least you should be able to observe the therapy.
- How much experience do you have working with kids of trauma? The therapist needs to be experienced with kids of trauma (book learning is fine, but very few therapists "get" what it's like living 24/7 with a child with a serious mental illness or attachment issues). Even if your child is not diagnosed with a severe mental illness or attachment disorder (like RAD), the therapist should be able to identify and treat it.
- How do you handle a dysregulated child? A good therapist matches (without joining) the energy level of the child, and then helps them regulate.
- What treatment methods do you use? (or combination of methods) Talk therapy doesn't work for trauma! Options may be: attachment therapy, EMDR, CBT, DBT, biofeedback, play therapy, Theraplay, somatic therapy, family therapy, filial therapy...
- Whose methodology do you follow? Our attachment therapist trained under Daniel Hughes. Beyond Consequences is also a common methodology.
- How would you handle our child parent bashing? There should never be any parent bashing by the therapist. The child can be supported in venting, but the therapist should NEVER make the parent feel they are bad parents. It's a difficult line for the therapist to walk!
- How do you treat complex trauma, sexual reactivity, attachment issues, aggressive behavior, animal abuse, sibling abuse...?
- How do you support the parents? Parents must be supported! Whether from the therapist (some do half the time with the child and half with the parent), encouragement to get their own therapist, or advice on books to read or places to go for support. Parents need advice, guidance and support.
- Do you offer meetings with the parents without the child present? A lot of times this isn't covered by insurance.
- I will need advice/ support/ resources/ information on how to help my child, what do you suggest? I had a therapist accuse me of wanting him to train me to be a therapist (we eventually fired him). Another therapist recognized that I wanted to become a therapeutic parent for my child and continue the work we did in therapy (or at least not derail it). She gave me advice in one on one sessions, suggested books to read, and connected me with a local support group.
- What is the best way to communicate with you? I don't like to talk about my child or issues we might be having in front of the child. Personally, I prefer to send way too lengthy e-mails or meet with the therapist alone for a little while. Some therapists are not willing to read e-mails or return phone calls.
- Do you have on call hours or times you're available on the phone in addition to appointments?
- How collaborative is your relationship with parents? Do you seek input about how the child is doing at home? If the parents report a lack of progress or want to discuss a concern that the child doesn't want to discuss what happens then?
- What do we do if our child is having a crisis?
- What do you do if the child reports abuse? What if the child is prone to false allegations?
- How do you gauge success? If progress isn't being made what happens next?