Child psychologist: When to call him/her?

Every parent, you know, does their best to be a valuable resource for their child, but there are situations when a child psychologist may be needed.

In this article, we will discuss what a psychologist does with children, when a child needs a psychologist, what the difference is between a psychologist and a psychotherapist, and how much a session costs.

When is the child psychologist needed?

It happens that we find ourselves in particularly strenuous situations, perhaps new experiences, for which, caught unprepared, we really don’t know how to act.

We are filled with doubts and questions:

“But why does he do that? He’s never done that!”
“But is it normal that…”
“I’ve tried everything but it doesn’t seem to help, should we perhaps consult a specialist?”

But how to figure out where to turn?

In such cases, if the problem is clearly not medical, the professional you are looking for may be a child psychologist himself.

What does the psychologist do with children?

The purpose of child psychology is to offer supportive interventions, following the issuance of a diagnosis.

The emotional and psychological development of children is a complex and crucial process that will influence their future well-being.

In this context, the child psychologist emerges as a key pillar in providing support and guiding children through the challenges they encounter along the way.

Indeed, the child psychologist is a professional who specializes in understanding and treating the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive needs of children from 0 to 10 years of age.

His practice focuses on a wide range of issues, including childhood disorders, trauma, learning problems, behavioral disorders, and family problems.

In the following sections, we will explore its role and importance, analyzing its responsibilities, competencies, and impact on children’s growth and development.

child psychologist

When does a child need a psychologist?

To the untrained eye, it can be very complicated to recognize developmental struggles in the child.

However, if you find yourself dealing with one or more of these situations, it may be time to seek professional help:

  • Changes in daily living environment (following a move to a new city), family structure (following a divorce or bereavement), or entering a new school, for example.
  • Intellectual disabilities: situations in which, symptomatically, we notice impairment of some higher brain functions such as attention, memory, learning, visual-spatial/praxis functions, and language.
  • Specific Learning Disorders: on the other hand, involve a group of disabilities in which there are significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of reading, writing, and calculation (thus typical of second and third childhood).

Here are some situations in which the intervention of a child psychologist might be useful or necessary.

ReasonDescription
Behavioral difficultiesAggressive, oppositional behaviors, or difficulties in respecting rules at home or at school.
Emotional problemsAnxiety, depression, excessive fears, persistent sadness, or irritability.
Learning difficultiesProblems in acquiring academic skills, attention difficulties, or concentration difficulties.
Changes in family lifeParents’ divorce, death of a family member, birth of a sibling, moving to a new city.
TraumasTraumatic experiences such as accidents, abuse, or natural disasters.
Socialization problemsDifficulty in making or maintaining friendships, social isolation, or excessive shyness.
Eating disordersEating problems, such as food refusal, binge eating, or anorexia.
Sleep problemsDifficulty falling asleep, frequent nighttime awakenings, nightmares, or night terrors.
Motor skills developmentDelays in the development of motor skills, such as walking, running, or coordination.
Emotion managementDifficulty in managing anger, frustration, or expressing one’s emotions.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychotherapist?

There is a big difference between psychologist and psychotherapist.

A psychologist becomes a psychologist after completing a master’s degree in psychology, the state exam qualifying him or her for the profession, and registration in the relevant register.

A psychotherapist, on the other hand, must also have acquired specific post-graduate training to be such, which involves a four-year course.

The main purpose of the psychologist’s work is therefore prevention of psychological distress and disorders, promotion of the person’s well-being, and recovery of the same, through focused attention to the functioning of the mind, with its physiological, psychological, personological, relational and environmental components.

The psychotherapist, on the other hand, is the professional indicated in the treatment of diagnosed disorders.

How much does a session with a child psychologist cost?

Each professional is free to charge his or her own referral fee so it is impossible to make a good estimate, the best thing to do is to check what is the situation in the region you currently live in.

We are with you.

We understand that the child psychologist plays a vital role in promoting the mental and emotional well-being of children.

Through their training, skills, and dedication, child psychologists provide support, guidance, and targeted therapy to address a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and psychological challenges.

At Parentalife, we stand by your side throughout the parenting journey. We do this with customized guides, classes, and counseling.

You will never be alone in this journey; we are with you.

FAQ

  1. What does a child psychologist do?

    A child psychologist focuses on the emotional, behavioral and cognitive needs of children up to age 10, helping to manage childhood disorders, trauma, learning problems, eating disorders, socialization difficulties and other family problems.

  2. What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychotherapist?

    A psychologist has completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology and the state exam. A psychotherapist, in addition to basic training in psychology, has undergone a four-year postgraduate specialization and is qualified to treat diagnosed psychological disorders.

SOURCES

“Single text of the professional tariff of psychologists,” approved by the National Council of the Order of Psychologists (http://deplanolaura.altervista.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/tariffario.pdf).

About the Author

Chiara Fabbiano - Psychologist