Psychologists working with children and their families use clinical techniques developed through training in both scientific and professional aspects of treatment for children and families.   Psychologists promote scientific inquiry, training, professional practice, and public policy in clinical child and adolescent psychology as a means of improving the welfare and mental health of children, youth, and families. In the service of these goals, psychologists promote the general objectives of the American Psychological Association (APA), the flagship organization for professional psychology.
Our children and their families have unique needs in psychological treatment. Children’s psychological care providers must have advanced graduate training including childhood development, pediatrics, childhood medical illnesses, hospital-based consultation/liaison, brain development, and a program of clinical training and supervision by experts in the field of child psychology.    Child psychology is a specialty area that is only offered as a component of APA-approved doctoral training programs in clinical psychology. Children suffer needlessly when inappropriately diagnosed and treated, which has resulted in increased suicide rates among West Virginia’s youth.
·          West Virginia spends thousands of state dollars each year to send youth out of state to receive services as a result of the limited access to qualified doctoral level child psychologists.
·          Specialty-trained psychologists are prepared to provide care that some individuals and families require to treat more complex disorders. Adults, just like children, often suffer needlessly as a result of misdiagnosis and treatment.
·          APA-approved training requires that psychologists have training that affords them the ability to effectively communicate with primary care physicians/pediatricians, to corroborate and identify medical conditions that could be causing or aggravating a child’s or adult’s symptoms.
Psychologists use treatments that scientific research has shown to be effective for the problems being experienced by each particular person, based on age, gender, and treatment setting.
·         Often, “talk therapy” is used. If medications are needed, patients are referred to psychiatrists or other medical providers. For an explanation of psychotherapy provided by psychologists, go to http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/psychotherapy-works.aspx
·         Ask your child’s therapist about their training.
For more resources for parents, please follow this link: https://www.clinicalchildpsychology.org/node/153

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