Psychologist appointment: Any good advice?


New Member
<span style="color: #CC0000">Never been to one. This particular one wanted to know who was asking for the evaluation..I said I was, due to destructive, impulsive, raging behaviors that have existed for years. Anything I should know about in particular? Questions to ask? What to expect?? Insurance will cover this going to be an expensive process? appointment. is for Friday & I'm meeting with-the psychologist to decide where to go from there.

Previous evaluations (2), by the way, have been done by Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) & I believe one of them was 'supervised' by a psychiatrist, though my difficult child & I never met with-the supervising doctor. His therapy has always been with Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)'s, including the one he sees now.</span>


Active Member
You'll need to rely more on advice from others; our situation is different in Australia.

One thought, and it may not be relevant but it might be worth it to help you 'gel' ideas - go to and look for their Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. It's not officially diagnostic but it can give you some sense of direction; or not. Print the result whatever you get and take it to the appointment.

I recall you mentioned in another thread that he was an early talker, so it sounds like there's no history of language problems. That doesn't rule out Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), only a part of what falls under that description.

I would suggest, between now and Friday, carry a note pad with you and keep writing down notes as you remember - things which seem odd or 'not normal' which are concerning you; things he's said or done; things that have happened to him and when, as well as (if possible) why; anything at all which stands out for you.
Put it all in some sort of order (on the computer?) then take in two copies - one for you to refer to during the appointment, and one for the psychologist to put in the file.

The biggest problem I've found - we learn to accept as normal, the situation we live in. As a result, it often falls below our radar and gets missed when a psychologist (or anyone) asks us if anything unusual is going on. Like, what is unusual? How do you define it? Making notes like this can help get some perspective.



How did you find this psychologist? Will he be doing any cognitive/psychological testing on your difficult child? Can you see a child psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist instead?


New Member
I asked a few people for names & this was one mentioned. He wanted to meet with-me to decide what needed to be done. I guess it's a base interview?

How do I find a neuropsychologist? And yes, he can see either one, I would imagine, as long as they accept our insurance.


Active Member
You can ask your pediatrician if he/she has a recommendation. You also can do some checking around--I had a friend who recently did this by checking out the various children's and university hospital websites for leads as well as googling pediatric neuropsychologist plus nearby cities.

If this is a regular psychologist you have an appointment with the chances are pretty good you won't get anything assessment wise beyond what you got from the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Did the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) actually diagnose anxiety and depression?


Active Member
My personal preference is a therapist who is not a behaviorist.
Conduct a telephone interview with potential clinicians to determine if their therapeutic approach is consistent with the type of treatment you want to receive. PTEK recommends that you seek someone whose approach is consistent with the Collaborative Problem Solving model. Thus, the clinician would philosophically believe in the notion that "children do well if they can;" would view the child's challenging behavior as the byproduct of lacking skills in the domains of flexibility, adaptability, and frustration tolerance; would appreciate the need for a careful assessment to determine the numerous factors and co-morbidity which may be fueling the challenging behavior; would focus treatment on teaching lacking cognitive and emotional skills; and would emphasize proactively preventing problems before they occur and working towards mutually satisfactory solutions to problems underlying the difficult behavior.


But for diagnostic purposes, I would highly recommend seeing both a board-certified child psychiatrist for mood issues and a neuropsychologist to rule in or out learning disabilites, autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. A therapist who is not a behaviorist is fine once you are at the point of putting interventions into place.

SRL is right -- peds frequently know of neuropsychs. University and children's hospitals usually have them on staff. I found our neuropsychs through friends who had kids with special needs as well as through my son's psychiatrist.