Psychological Evaluations, Counseling and Psychotherapy for Children - Kimberly Thompson


Are you considering taking your son or daughter for a psychological evaluation? Or, are you thinking about taking him or her to counseling or psychotherapy? If so, it is likely that your family is going through a tough time of some sort. It would help tremendously to feel confident that a psychologist is what you need, right?

Well, I am going to give you a good overview of what a psychologist can do for your child and your family. We psychologists have a nice big toolbox to draw from when we work with children, and I am pleased to be the one to introduce you to what an evaluation and/or therapy can do for your child:

A psychologist can evaluate your child’s behavior and his/her capabilities, using:

            * Written reports from parents, teachers, and others

            * Observation of your child in the office

            * Observation of your child at daycare or school as needed

            * Formal assessments such as IQ testing or achievement tests

            * Observation of parent and child together

A psychologist can help your family set realistic goals, based on:

            * Professional knowledge of normal child development

            * Professional understanding of any disabilities or special challenges your child faces, and

            * A “fresh perspective” on emotional child/family issues

A psychologist can provide you with recommendations on how to meet your goals. For example,

            * What is a reasonable rate of change to expect from your child?

            * What are some proven methods for engaging a child’s cooperation?

            * Based on weekly progress, how should we re-evaluate  and adjust the plan so that it has maximum effectiveness?

A psychologist can support your family through the process of change, by:

            * Encouraging parents and children alike (change is sometimes hard!)

            * Helping the family stay on track and stay focused, and

            * Providing a safe place to express emotion and to talk without being judged.

A psychologist can alter the plan as needed, when something isn’t working, by:

            * Treating you and your child as individuals, not as cookie-cutter robots

            * Helping parent and child acquire important skills, and

            * Supporting incremental (e.g., “baby steps”) change.

A psychologist can also meet with school teachers and staff if you so desire, helping by:

            * Assessing the child’s behavior at school

            * Explaining what the family is doing to improve the situation, and

            * Explaining the findings of testing.


Parents sometimes ask: But why do I have to be there? Can’t you just fix him?

Here’s my answer to that question.

Therapy and counseling with children requires parents to be involved because

            * Parents are the ones with the power and control in the family.

            * Children do not have the maturity to understand how to change themselves, so …

            * Improving a child’s behavior and/or emotional life almost always requires changes in his/her environment.


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment.