How will I know how long my child(ren) should go for treatment/therapy?
Depending on the challenge/disorder at hand, the clinician will make a recommendation/treatment plan after a consultation and an assessment is made. Treatment can be short term, with fewer than 15 sessions (about 2.5 months) or longterm, lasting more than 30 sessions (5 months or more).
How will I know if the treatment is working?
At the Network we emphasise on open communication between therapist and client/caregiver. For some clinicians, they may decide to do check-ins every once in awhile during the therapy progress in order to give general feedback or discuss with parent at beginning, middle and end of treatment, provided the child gives permission to share certain examples; others may ask for parents to use a Parent Report form if parents notice changes in behaviour at home or in school, or for other concerns. Check with your therapist how they prefer to work with you.
For adult services:
When you talk to a friend, they generally give you advice based on their past experiences. However, when you talk to a mental health professional, they have in depth knowledge and skills to listen and help you make your own decisions about your life.
Further, a mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way by teaching you new skills, gaining different perspectives, listening to you without judgment or having expectations, and helping you to listen more intuitively to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential, meaning you don't have to worry about anyone “knowing about your business" outside the therapy space. Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion and if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the potential risk that once you are feeling better that you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life. This is not healthy and a professional will be there for that.
General (child & adults):
How do I access and pay for your services?
If you have found a clinician you'd like to work within our Network then please go to your General Practitioner/Doctor ('Huisarts' in Dutch) and tell them you've found someone and would like him/her to treat you/your child. The GP will then write a referal letter that outlines the reasons why therapy is needed.
Based on the above, there are 3 options to pay for sessions:
1) You can pay out of pocket before or after each session (an assessment may be required and will be at a different price);
2) Go to your health insurance company Dutch healthcare insurance and see if they may be able to cover parts or all of the session costs (please be mindful that not every therapist accepts insurance, so inquire with the therapist that you are interested in; also, for alternative therapies, such as art psychotherapy, you'll need to make sure your insurance covers 'Complimentary Therapies' (here's an example from HollandZorg);
3) Ask your Municipality for assistance in covering the cost through the personal budget PGB for social or youth care services depending on your age. The SVB will administer and pay your clinician from your allocated budget, so you would not have to worry about taking care of payments.
What happens if I find the clinician is not professional or effective in their treatment process?
Every therapist is bound by law to follow ethics and standards of their profession. They should be registered with their professional body and complaints can be made there. Child Behavioral Health Network is not liable for any incidents/injuries and malpractice.
Some therapists are also registered in healthcare portals that allow for complaints handling to insure quality care. For anyone working with youth, you are obligated to register with a klachtenportaalzorg because their services fall under the Youth Act ('Jeugdwet' in Dutch). (CBHN is registered at the Klachtenportaalzorg (site in Dutch) but for the ChildCenteredHealing practice of Drs. van den Brink-El Makkaoui whose activities fall under this CBHN's KvK business number)).
If I or my child need medication, can you prescribe or refer me to someone who does?
The decision to begin medication to treat your/your child's mental health is a personal choice, under the supervision of your medical doctor and consultation with your therapist. if you do not currently have a family doctor, we are happy to assist you in finding one. Working with a therapist is highly recommended, even when a client is prescribed medications. While the medication may help subside some of the unpleasant symptoms of the mental health issue, working with a therapist will enable you to identify the unhelpful traps you have fallen into in the past, learn new strategies for coping more effectively and support your transition should you/your child and your doctor choose to discontinue medication use at any time. Imagine the medication as your training wheel as you learn to ride the bike.
That being said, there are some mental health issues that require consistent medical monitoring and medication to treat, and unfortunately, therapy alone will not be enough. Talk to your therapist and medical doctor before making any decisions about beginning or stopping a medication regime. Besides therapists, there are also other mental health professionals who may be of help to you.
Do you give homework or reading between sessions?
It depends on the therapist and the way he or she likes to work. For some who work with children, some homework may be given to practice and hone skills at home, such as completing worksheets, journaling based on a topic discussed in session, having a conversation with someone, practicing different behaviors that create anxiety that needs to be overcome. The therapist will come up with the plan for this together with your child, so there will be room for input on what is doable. The homework is often a way to get clients to reach their goals effectively and relatively more quick.
May I include family members in my therapy sessions?
Some therapists include family members in sessions. But this depends on what you're working on in therapy. A reason being that family is often the people you/ your child is with when challenged with something related to the reason why you/your child is seeking therapy in the first place. Having someone you/your child cares about in therapy can help them to be more supportive in your/your child's daily life. Family sessions can also be a great way to discuss more difficult topics, with the support of a therapist.