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Western Reserve Psychological Associates, Inc.Empowering change for over 40 years
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Back to School

It's fall and children are back in school. Summer is a time of relaxation and play for youngsters. Returning to school is eagerly anticipated by some children and dreaded by others. With the start of school, schedules become important. The days take on structure for school, homework, sports or other activities. At the start of the school year, there may be complaints about teachers and homework. Signs of difficulty adjusting to school can include stomachaches, headaches, and other complaints to avoid going to school. School refusal or school phobia is not all that uncommon. The school counselor can be a resource in helping you get your child on track with the responsibilities of the classroom. If the problems seem severe, you may need to contact a mental health professional outside of the school. School phobia does respond to treatment. The earlier problems are caught, the quicker the recovery.

If you are contemplating professional mental health services, you may be confused about the choices you encounter. The phone book is filled with ads for various individuals, offices and agencies. First of all, you need to determine if your choices are limited by the benefits that you may have. Mental health and substance abuse services are often managed by behavioral healthcare companies. It that is the case, you need to call and receive authorization for treatment before services are covered and paid. At the time of the call, you may be given a list of providers in the network of your insurance carrier.

The next step involves contacting the persons on the list and determining who may be the best individual to treat the problems or concerns you have. If you are seeking medication instead of or in addition to therapy, you need to know that psychologists, counselors, and social workers are not able to prescribe medications. Your primary care physician may prescribe or you may need to go to a psychiatrist for medication. Feel free to ask questions before making that first appointment for the best possible solution possible to meet the mental health needs of your child.

Suzanne H. Hetrick, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

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