The mental health field has come a long way in knowing which treatments work best for some issues and concerns, but there are often not easy answers. If your child has an ear infection, a course of antibiotics may be prescribed to target the problem. If your child has a mental health concern, the answer might be less clear, but a well-trained mental health professional can work with you to plan a treatment that best meets your child’s needs and includes our knowledge of best practices.
The first place to start in identifying the right treatment is by having a thorough evaluation. During the evaluation, the clinician will collect history about your child and family, his or her symptoms, events leading up to the distress, school performance, relationships and other issues. It often takes many sessions to collect the right information to do a comprehensive evaluation. During this time the clinician may also ask you or your child to take some simple screening tests and other assessments to better understand the nature of your child’s concerns. Some providers use certain screening and assessment measures with all patients to make sure that they get the best treatment and no hidden concerns are missed. Using objective measures is a recommended practice.

To learn more about specific disorders and their treatment, please visit the AACAP parent website.