I hear from worn-out parents everyday who have spent seemingly endless amounts of time and money with the wrong therapists. Unfortunately, a good therapist for reactive attachment disorder is hard to find. While many are skilled in the traditional sense, few have the expertise to work with children with reactive attachment disorder. You’ll want to carefully select a qualified therapist before you begin therapy sessions.
If your child has RAD, here are 6 questions to ask a potential therapist:
1. Where did you receive training? Look for a qualified therapist who mentored with a professional specialized in reactive attachment disorder. He or she needs much more than to have attended a workshop or read a book.
2. What is your outpatient approach? A therapist qualified to work with your child will use a family therapy approach rather than individual child/therapist sessions. READ: The first thing to look for in therapy for kids with reactive attachment disorder.
3. How do you assess for reactive attachment disorder? Your therapist should have specialized training in assessment of reactive attachment disorder. To rely upon your child’s symptoms or the definition of reactive attachment disorder in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is insufficient. READ: What professionals lack in their assessments for reactive attachment disorder.
4. Do you know the differences between reactive attachment disorder and genetic mental illnesses? A good clinician will explain your child’s behavior based on early trauma, the dynamics of your current family, and the genetics of your child’s birth family. Each of these are equally important and should be an integral part of your conversation and treatment plan with your therapist.
5. Have you had success with kids with reactive attachment disorder and their families in the past? May I speak with them? Before you work with a new therapist, you should chat with the other families to learn their perspectives about the therapist’s expertise.
6. Will you refer another therapist if you identify that my child needs more than outpatient services? If so, whom might you refer? You’ll want to know that your therapist will acknowledge when your child needs additional services outside of his or her expertise. If so, you’ll want to know what to expect in that regard.