Life isn’t perfect, even for your teenage daughter. Perhaps she suffers from a mental illness, depression or she’s lost someone important to her and needs a good psychiatrist to talk to. There’s no shame in seeking medical help for your teenage daughter, especially if the psychiatrist she sees is able to help her work through her issues and live a happier, more carefree existence as a result. However, before that can happen, you have to find a reputable psychiatrist who can help your teenage daughter overcome her problem.
Call your insurance company to find out whether or not the services provided by a psychiatrist for your daughter are covered under your insurance plan, advises Dinah Miller, MD and physician. Point out to your insurance company that the psychiatrist is for your teenage daughter so the representative can look for child and adolescent psychiatrists in your area. Once your insurance company informs you whether or not your daughter’s visits are covered, ask for a list of psychiatrists near your home.
Consider recommendations provided by your child’s pediatrician, other doctors or even friends and family, advises Dinah Miller. If someone really loves their psychiatrist, word of mouth can help you choose where to take your daughter. You can call your doctor and ask for a referral. Call the state department of health and ask for a referral, or ask any psychiatrist you speak to for names.
Call the psychiatrists on your list, advises to WebMD. Speak with the doctor’s office to discuss your daughter’s needs, and ask questions regarding the doctor’s availability and treatment approach. If you work, you will want to know if the doctor has extended or weekend hours. You may also want to know if he is available in case of an emergency. Ask about payment options, cancellation policies, how often the doctor likes to see his patients, how long each appointment lasts and if there is anything else you should know if you decide to use this particular doctor. Additionally, you will want to know what type of treatment approach the doctor takes. Different approaches include cognitive therapy, which focuses on your daughter’s thoughts. Behavioral therapy focuses on teaching her to learn new behaviors as a way of unlearning old ones, and integrative therapy is a combination of both. Furthermore, you may want to know if the doctor uses medications to treat his patients or a combination of therapy and medications.
Ask for a consultation with the doctor. This gives you the opportunity to sit down with him and discuss your daughter as well as get a feel for him as a person, his treatment approach and his mannerisms. While you can acquire a great deal of information over the phone, you cannot learn these things without actually meeting and speaking with the doctor in person.
Ask to see the psychiatrist’s credentials and licenses. There is no such thing as too overprotective when it comes to your teenage daughter’s mental health -- even if that means finding your daughter’s new psychiatrist only after asking to see his college diploma and state license information.
Even if you find a doctor that’s highly recommended by someone you know or by another medical professional, do not feel obligated to send your daughter to him. If you don’t get a good feeling, if you don’t like his treatment approach or if you felt more comfortable with a different psychiatrist, then go with your gut.