With Michael Larrar, Child Psychiatrist
When should you take your child to a psychologist? This is a real parenting question! How is psychotherapy for youngsters? Advice from Michelle Larrar, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, author of “Secrets of the Subconscious” (Editor of Lebrinova)
Child psychology: What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
Above all, it is important to make a difference between a child psychiatrist and a child psychologist, as Michael Larrar points out: “A child psychiatrist is a doctor. He is the one who studied medicine and specialized in child psychiatry. For his part, a child psychologist or child psychologist conducted a course in college psychology and also majored in the study of children.In practice, the primary difference is Child psychiatrists can prescribe medication to children, while child psychiatrists cannot. On the other hand, practitioners can prepare psychotherapy and make a diagnosis.”
Early Childhood Psychologist: At What Age Should You Start Counseling?
At what age can a child start consulting a psychiatrist? Is there an interest if it is too small? Michael Larrar answers us in the affirmative: “You can go to a child psychologist at any age. A child psychologist can accompany future parents during pregnancy. It is clear that in the first years of a child’s life, the session will take place differently. Less than two years old, the practitioner will address primarily the parents. In this case, the purpose of the appointment will be to carry out assessments and make a diagnosis if there is a suspicion of delays or problems in relationships in the child. For very young children, a child psychologist can also provide advice to parents to help with the child’s development.”
Why consult: when to see a child psychologist?
If there is no age limit for consulting a child psychologist, in what situations is it necessary or desirable? From sleep disturbances to constant crying, the reasons for counseling can be numerous. Michel Larrar answers us: “Indeed, there is no danger in making an appointment with a child psychologist. It will not bother the child. At worst, the consultation will be of no use. To determine if the child needs to see a contracture, You have to trust your intuition. In some cases, there are no objective signals, but something seems to be wrong. If we have this impression, we can consult. In other cases, there is a repeated request from the child. These are, for example, children with separation anxiety, behavioral disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Sometimes they themselves ask the parents to “see a doctor for treatment”. There is also a situation in which the child suffers from severe disorders that have social repercussions and last for a long time. These are phenomena that often appear during transitional periods, but if such disturbances persist for more than a month, you should consult. ”
How much does a session with a young child psychologist cost?
The question may seem trivial, but it is important because not all parents have the same budget. Michael Larar explains to us the subtleties of rewarding child psychologists and child psychiatrists: “In practice, there are very few child psychiatrists who practice therapy in France. So the consultation is complicated, and the cost will be high. Also, in many cases, psychiatrists prescribe Children take medication and they refer parents and child to a child psychologist for treatment. In terms of cost, a child psychiatrist is more expensive but there is partial coverage by Social Security. Conversely, child psychologists charge less, but there is no compensation.”
Monpsy: Pay for 8 sessions
Since April 2022, Monpsy has allowed any person, adult or child (over 3 years old), to make up for sessions with a psychologist. To benefit from it, you must be referred by a general practitioner who establishes a prescription. Note: Not all psychologists participate in this system. More information here.
That’s it, you made an appointment with the psychiatrist with your child. What happens during the session? Michel Larrar explains to us: “During a classic appointment, the first session takes place in three phases: we discuss with the parents and the child first. Next, we talk with the child alone, and finally in the third step, we all discuss again together. Ideally, during the first consultation, We would like to see both parents Learn about family dynamics. This is of course not an obligation. At the same time, we do not necessarily discuss with the parents without the presence of the child, because it is good for him to understand that he is the center of attention and that we do not talk behind his back. However, if the parents need to speak to the practitioner alone to discuss sensitive items (illness, marital problems, etc.), the child psychiatrist will accept them without issue.”
If the first consultations are geared towards assessing the child’s problems, how will the following sessions take place? Everything is variable, as Michele Larrar develops: “On a child’s treatment journey, we can sometimes give advice after just a few sessions. In half of the cases the young patient is better after two or three sessions.. Children already have real psychological resilience. They are much better once they understand what is going on. As a rule, treatment of children is faster and more efficient than treatment of adults. If necessary, psychotherapy can be started. In this case, we receive the child alone if he agrees. Every three or four consultations, we organize a joint session with parents. In the case of the adolescent, this type of joint assessment is done every three months.”
What is the parent’s role in a pediatric psychiatrist?
When a child undergoes psychotherapy, parents can rightly ask themselves about their role: “The parent’s role will be to find out what is happening and what he himself will understand. He answers shrink questions, allowing him to observe baby’s reactions Regarding the family situation and the environment. Seeing his parents think about the problem will also help the child. In the consultation, when starting treatment, the specialist can give recommendations to the parents. It’s not because you go to a child psychiatrist with your child because you failed as a parent. The family should function normally. Michael Larrar insists that the family should not be worried about psychotherapy.
And for teens?
For a teenager, should you consult a child psychologist or an adult psychologist? “Teens are a real specialty. You have to go see someone who is used to it. They are no longer children, but they are not adults either. Generally, it will be determined by a psychiatrist. If in doubt, ask before making an appointment,” summarizes Michael Larrar. Adolescence is indeed a very special age group with certain problems.