Until I had my own kids, I always thought that it didn’t matter if a therapist had kids to be able to effectively provide parenting information or actually work with kids. I think that a therapist, whether or not they have children, can work with children or teenagers. Therapists are trained in working with children as well as with adults. The key question to ask the therapist is: “How long have you been working with kids?” You certainly don’t want your child to be the first child that a therapist has worked with.
I feel a little differently about the parenting question. I do think that my level of understanding has changed immensely since having my own children. Before I had children and a parent would tell me they yelled at their child, I would think this was the most awful thing ever. I now realize that although this is not the best parenting technique in the world, sometimes a parent is trying to get their child’s attention and found that yelling works to get it. Since becoming a parent, I have discarded some of the techniques I used to tell parents and have learned new, inventive ones that seem to really work. I have also developed a much deeper understanding for why, we as parents, do some of the silly, embarrassing, stupid things we do go attempt to help our children.
The bottom line: The more experience your therapist has on the issue, the more effective they will be in helping you. This may mean they don’t have kids but they have worked with kids for 10 years, it might mean they have kids and have worked with kids for 10 years. It is ultimately a decision about if you feel comfortable with your therapist. Experience is definitely important, but I have found that your comfort level with them is the most important thing in picking a therapist.
If you are looking for a children’s therapist in Long Beach, please give me a call to ask me a question or to set up an appointment.