Julie G. Hartman, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Lic. # 28202

When to Refer (1)
Young Adults
What is CBT?
Play Therapy

Check out my workshop events here!

Click here to register for 'Back-to-School Worries': A Workshop for Parents of Anxious Kids (Tuesday 8/27 7:00 - 9:00 in Corte Madera)

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When Should a Child be Referred?

Is the preschooler troubled? Or is this just a normal kid going through the growing pains of childhood? There are some tell-tale signs of a truly troubled child who needs the kind of help that Parent-Child Psychotherapy can provide.

A preschooler should be referred for parent-child psychotherapy when you or an important adult is wondering (even just a few times) if a preschooler's behavior or mood is 'normal' or a problem. 

Parents, teachers, and other helpers may notice the signs come on suddenly and seem 'out of the blue' or that they persist for some time or may seem to be getting worse.

Another big reason to consider parent-child psychotherapy is when the parent and preschooler seem out-of-sync, like no matter how hard the parent and preschooler try, there are more battles than there is pleasure, more work than there is reward.

Parents who take an honest look at their preschooler and should trust their instincts; if you think he/she is in trouble or that you both may need help in working better together, take action now. Contact Dr. Hartman for an informational session to figure this out.

Behaviors and moods in your preschooler that may require attention (one or more may apply):

  • sleeping alot, difficulty getting up in the morning or falling asleep
  • appetite erratic (eating less or more than usual)
  • sick alot - complaining of tummy aches, headaches, allergies
  • social skiils issues, such as bossiness, shyness, missing other's cues
  • irritable, cranky, cries easily, angers easily
  • negative attitude
  • overwhelmed statements, "I can't do it"
  • isolating statements, "leave me alone, go away"
  • risky behaviors and/or accident-prone
  • looks hazy, out of it, looks sleepy most of the time
  • fighting a lot
  • excessive bossiness, can't follow even simple rules
  • worries alot, alot of 'what if' statements
  • cries or protests alot around separations from parent(s)
  • mean to siblings, pets
  • easily frustrated, gives up, overly asks someone to do it for him/her
  • bored too easily
  • former successes decline
  • teacher/babysitter/daycare complains about child or suggests therapy
  • increased conflict, yelling, 'silent treatment'
  • phobia - earthquakes, fear of death, ghosts
  • overly sensitive, i.e. textures, light, noises
  • difficulty maintaining routine or overly rigid about routine
  • seems developmentally behind agemates

Situations that may require extra attenion for your preschooler:

  • separation/divorce, custody issues, parent lives out of child's day-to-day house
  • loss of a loved one
  • life transition - new preschool, new teacher, new sibling, new house
  • parental illness
  • trauma or abuse
  • natural distaster
  • other crisis