When considering a therapist for your child or teen, it’s okay to ask plenty of questions before choosing the one that best fits your needs.

The most important question to ask a therapist is if they have training and/or experience working with children, particularly children who have had some of the same problems or concerns that your child is facing. It is also important that the therapist is currently licensed in your state and makes efforts to stay current and knowledgeable about best practices in children’s mental and behavioral health. If you are seeking a specific type of therapy or treatment, such as an evidence-based practice, you may also want to ask the therapist if they are trained to provide that treatment.

You should also ask about logistical concerns, such as whether they accept your insurance and about their fees, billing practices, cancellation policies, whether they offer in-person or virtual appointments, and whether they offer appointments in evenings or on weekends (if that is a concern). You may also want to discuss whether it is OK for them to discuss your child’s behavioral health concerns or treatment with their other providers, such as their pediatrician or school counselor. If you would like providers from different settings to share information to coordinate your child’s care, you will need to sign a release/consent form to give your permission, which can be revoked at any time. (Learn more about how different providers can work together – and about your privacy rights – in the Connect4Families toolkit.)

You should feel comfortable talking to your child’s therapist and not be afraid to ask questions. There are no wrong questions when it comes to your child’s health and well-being. It is perfectly okay to call or meet with several therapists before choosing one that is the best fit for your child and family. You can and should have an active role in your child’s treatment from the very start.

For more tips on finding and working with your child’s therapist, including more questions you may want to ask, check out this article from the Child Mind Institute.